Some Nigerians criticized the NBA for this choice, believing it could harm the organization’s reputation.
National Publicity Secretary of the NBA, Akorede Lawal, addressed these concerns, explaining that Portable performed as he is the brand ambassador for the headline sponsor, the Cubana Group. Importantly, Portable’s participation was unpaid.
Cubana Group selected Portable as a brand ambassador due to his association with their product, Odogwu Bitters.
Additionally, as the headline sponsor, they had the privilege of bringing a guest artist to perform at the ‘Unbarred concert,’ a traditional event attended by lawyers of all statuses to conclude the conference.
Lawal emphasized that Portable did not receive any payment for his performance.
The NBA relies on sponsors to fund various aspects of their events, given that their Annual General Conference is the world’s largest gathering of lawyers.
Lawal also highlighted the support from international partners in countries like America and Chile who appreciate the NBA’s work and contribute to financing the program annually.
Regarding concerns about lawyers walking out on Portable during the event, Lawal clarified that this did not occur.
The Friendship Centre serves as a customary gathering place for lawyers to socialize, network, and unwind during such events.