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Today, I am delighted to celebrate one of the amazons of Nigerian Bar Association, Dame Priscilla Aderonke Olabori Kuye, as she marks her 83rd birthday.

The iconic Dame Priscilla Kuye was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1967 after which she also went on to qualify as a registered nurse at Saint Bartholomew’s hospital, England. She is the first and only female President in the history of the Nigerian Bar Association, an office she held from 1991 to 1992. Prior to becoming President, she served the Association as National Financial Secretary, 3rd Vice President, 2nd Vice President and 1st Vice President. She served as one of the trustees of NBA from 2004 to 2019. She was also the Chairman, Human Rights Committee of the NBA and is a life member of the Body of Benchers.

Dame Priscilla Kuye was Vice President, and later President, of the Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce. She was the first Nigerian to serve as African Regional Vice President of the International Federation of Women Lawyers, a position she held between 1979 and 1981. In 1993, she was elected Vice President of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association. Her law firm, Priscilla O. Kuye and Company, was established in 1970. In 1992, she was offered appointment to the Court of Appeal which she rejected, just as she did for the office of Attorney General of the Federation.

The ‘Dame of the Bar’ as she is fondly called has always been an ardent advocate of women’s rights as well as deepening female participation in the leadership of the Bar. In an interview she granted Thisday Newspaper on August 18, 2020, she remarked as follows:
“We pray that there will be more female Lawyers who will offer themselves to
serve the NBA in the capacity of President and other positions, in the near future.To change the negative narrative of gender discrimination, well qualified and competent female Lawyers need to campaign, maybe, more vigorously for the positions they want. They must continue to solicit for the votes of male Lawyers who are in the majority, as well as securing the support of their fellow women. It is a hard battle, as men do not want to cede the position of National President to Women. There are criteria for becoming a Senior Advocate. So, female Lawyers must work that much harder to satisfy the criteria, especially because of the responsibilities on the home front. As I said before, male Lawyers out-number female Lawyers. We pray that more female Lawyers who will be legal practitioners and academicians, will emerge in the future.”

Kuye was married to the late High Chief Omowale Kuye, Otun Olubadan of Ibadan land.

They have a son, Ademola, and a daughter, Onikepo, who is a lawyer and journalist currently serving as Editor of Thisday Law. She was knighted by Pope John Paul II in 1981.

I celebrate the Dame of the Bar, today and always for her countless and inestimable contribution to Nigeria, the legal profession and NBA. She represents the best of us. She is indeed a rare gift to the legal profession.

Happy 83rd Birthday, Dame Priscilla Aderonke Olabori Kuye
The Iconic Dame of the Bar!
I thank you for all you represent and wish you many happy returns.

Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, OON, SAN