BREAKING: ECNBA Scraps CHAMS Verification, Appoints New ICT Partner

The Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) has agreed to scrap the verification exercise done by CHAMS Plc and start on a clean slate.

CITY LAWYER gathered that this was one of the outcomes of the meeting held today between the committee, representatives of the presidential candidates and their ICT consultants at NBA Headquarters. The decision has altered the timetable released today by ECNBA where it had restated the “clean up” of the CHAMS register thus: “Cleaning up of voters register with the inputs of technical advisers of the aspirants will take place on Tuesday, 24 and Wednesday, 25 July, 2018.” It is yet to be seen whether this will entail another rejigging of the time-table.

The committee has also appointed Crenet TechLabs Limited as its ICT Partner for the new verification exercise scheduled to hold on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Although ECNBA had planned a “clean up” of the verification register produced through the much criticized exercise by CHAMS, CITY LAWYER gathered that representatives of the presidential candidates swore not to have anything to do with the register, insisting that the verification exercise must start afresh.

A representative of one of the presidential candidates who participated in today’s meeting had said in a post: “I along with one of our ICT consultants had the opportunity of representing (name of presidential candidate) at a meeting with ECNBA and the new technical consultants for verification. The name of the new consultant is Crenet Techlabs Ltd.

ECNBA has agreed that everything done by CHAMS relating to the verification be scrapped. The basis of Crenet’s verification exercise will be the list of eligible voters sent by the Branches to ECNBA previously. Weaknesses in the first exercise will be strengthened.

With CHAMS involvement in determining any eligible voter being totally eliminated, I can confidently say the ground is now level.”

It is recalled that the ECNBA had today released a modified time-table for the NBA National Officers Election, declaring that it would appoint an ICT Partner for the verification exercise.

Dated July 23, 2018 the statement signed by ECNBA Secretary, Mr. Bolaji Agoro read: “Following consultations with the NBA Executive, Bar Leaders, aspirants and stakeholders on the 2018 national officers election, it has become necessary that the dates for the elections earlier scheduled to hold between Friday 27th and Saturday 28th July 2018 be adjusted to accommodate the valued inputs and resolutions arrived at the said consultations held on 19th and 20th July, 2018.

“For effective check and balance and credibility of the election, the electoral processes of pre-election, election and post-election shall be disaggregated and handled by separate entities.

“To this end, the ECNBA hereby issues an amended timetable as follows:

1. Appointment of a new service provider to carry out the verification of voters exercise will take place on Monday, 23rd July, 2018.

2. Cleaning up of voters register with the inputs of technical advisers of the aspirants will take place on Tuesday, 24 and Wednesday, 25 July, 2018.

3. Verification and data upgrade of voters shall take place on Thursday 26th, Friday 27th and Saturday 28th July, 2018.

4. Accreditation of voters will take place between 10:00 hour of Sunday 29th to 10:00 hour of Monday 30th July, 2018.

5. Voting will take place between 11:59am on Monday, 30th and end at the hour of 11:59am on Tuesday 31st July, 2018.

6. Announcement of elections results shall be on Tuesday, 31st July, 2018 after the final collation of votes cast.

7. The Committee shall come up with the modalities for the verification and accreditation procedures later.

“Meanwhile, members are advised in their own interest not to attempt to verify the data of another as the ECNBA is collating the names and particulars of those who made such despicable attempts during the aborted exercise. Voters are warned that any attempt to impersonate another will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agencies. Such names will also be forwarded to the Disciplinary Committee of the NBA for appropriate sanctions.

“The ECNBA is committed to delivering free, fair, credible and transparent elections. We also solicit for the cooperation of our colleagues in this regard.”

It is recalled that, following an exclusive report by CITY LAWYER http://citylawyermag.com/2018/07/12/nba-hires-usoros-co-directors-firm-as-ict-partner-for-elections/ indicating cross directorships between the chairman of CHAMS Plc and one of the presidential candidates, the Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud SAN-led NBA took far-reaching decisions to secure the integrity of the ballot, leading significantly to a disaggregation of the electoral process and the service providers. This has seemingly boosted confidence in the electoral process among the candidates.

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