MIXED REACTIONS, AS AGC KICKS OFF

  • As final technical sessions hold today

The 2019 Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Annual General Conference (AGC) took off on a bumpy note as some delegates swore that not much has changed from the hiccups that attended past exercises. While some delegates poked holes in some aspects, others heaped praises on the organisers. Notwithstanding a late start, the opening ceremony lived up to its billing as a favourite for most delegates.

Though NBA President, Mr. Paul Usoro SAN was on ground last Friday to assure delegates that distribution of conference materials would commence at 9 am when the week-long conference was billed to take off, some delegates complained of delay in commencement of the distribution exercise.

Said Olaoye Olalere: “Reporting from material collection center. Organisers not ready for us but the President has addressed members that they will start distribution by 9am. Fingers crossed!” He stated later: “Reporting from the same location as earlier, no distribution of materials yet. We don’t know when the distribution will start or whether the materials are at locus yet.”

Another delegate Cyprian Akao also aligned with Olalere, saying: “Collection is very disorganized.”

Olalere however stated at 9: 46 am that “the materials distribution has commenced, and it’s going on smoothly now.”

Others agreed with Olalere that the distribution was without hitches. Former NBA Lagos Financial Secretary Marian Jones said: “Seamless! Impressive.” On her part, Bar-man Amaka Aneke said: “Sleek and Smooth.” NBA Lagos Branch Publicity Secretary added his voice to the praises when he said: “Distribution is still ongoing seamlessly.”

Giving an indication that the distribution exercise may have been fraught with challenges, newly appointed NBA-NEC member Bob Ijioma said: “It ain’t easy asking learned people to be orderly during registration and collection of materials at the AGC today. Thanks to all TCCP and LOC Members. We put in a great job. Thank you President Paul Usoro, SAN and My Lady Mfon Usoro.”

Alluding to the torrid time the organisers had in managing the crowd on day-one, Mrs. Usoro especially hailed newly elected NBA Lagos Branch Chairman, Mr. Yemi Akangbe for lending a helping hand, saying: “Lagos Chairman was superb at crowd control today at Harbour Point. Good job, Yemi.”

However, when CITY LAWYER visited the Harbour Point on Saturday, the cubicles were virtually deserted, with delegates trickling in to collect their conference materials. The cubicles were marked according to States while some States were merged.

But the aides said no notebooks were supplied contrary to the checklist, while assuring delegates that the brochure would be given to them during the technical sessions commencing today. However, a partner in one of the leading law firms whom CITY LAWYER met attempting to collect his conference materials was unable to do so as his name was not listed. He was advised to visit the nearby Secretariat to have his name tag printed to enable him collect the materials.

One of the aides also told CITY LAWYER that they had a hectic time processing delegates on Friday. This may not be unconnected with the fact that all delegates in the five branches in Lagos were repeatedly urged by the organisers to endeavor to collect their conference materials on Friday.

While the Technical Committee on Conference Planning (TCCP) had deployed many channels to publicize the AGC programme, indications emerged at the weekend that some communication gaps persisted. For instance, some members of the TCCP had to escalate posts on several whatsApp platforms to alert delegates that they need not wear wig and gown to the AGC Thanksgiving Service which held at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos. Wrote Chukwuka Ikwuazom, TCCP member and former NBA Lagos Branch Chairman: “Good evening colleagues, following inquiries from members about the dress code for the Church service, we wish to clarify that members are not required to wear their wig and gown to the service. Many thanks.”

This challenge also manifested in relation to the Welcome Cocktail hosted by the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Kazeem Alogba. As feelers of a change of venue filtered in, one Azeezat Omolara quipped: “So the welcome cocktail venue has been changed from City Hall to Harbour Point which is better 7pm today (sic). Any confirmation for the above?”

In fact, a delegate called CITY LAWYER to complain that he was at City Hall for the event but met the place under lock. A post had however trended earlier in the day stating that “Please be informed that the NBA Conference Cocktail venue has been moved to Harbour Point by 5pm today.”

If the change of venue caught some delegates napping, the Welcome Cocktail itself left a sour taste in the mouth of many delegates. Comparing it with similar events, Omoniyi Onabule said that “Lagos Bar does better cocktail,” adding: “Na water men de sip. I haven’t seen this in my life.”

Another delegate Oliver Omoredia said: “Drinks finished before anything started. Nawa for this cocktail. May the rest of the events not be like this cocktail.” Yet another delegate, Awoyomi Damilola added cryptically: “I was disappointed.”

However, Omoredia urged the delegates to move over to the Friendship Centre – which was unveiled after the welcome cocktail – to shrug off their disappointment. His words: “Friendship centre was more like it!!! Bovi is so funny.”

Held at the high-profile Eko Convention Centre of the Eko Hotel & Suites, the opening ceremony was attended by heavyweights in the legal sector including the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad; newly re-appointed Attorney-General & Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami; International Bar Association President, Mr. Horacio Bernardes Neto and several Bar Leaders. This was followed by a surfeit of breakout sessions.

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CROSS RIVER: WHERE IS AGBA JALINGO? ASKS UBANI

In this piece, former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) 2nd Vice President, Mr. Monday Ubani expresses worry over the alleged illegal arrest of Agba Jalingo

I have just been informed by Mrs Agba Jalingo that the Nigerian Police from Cross River State have arrested her husband, Mr Agba Jalingo for reasons that are not clear. Recall that Jalingo has been having a running battle with his State Governor, His Excellency Mr Ben Ayade. This stems from his criticisms of his inept leadership in Cross Rivers State, an act considered sacrilegious by the governor and his bootlickers.

The Commissioner of Police in Cross Rivers State is clearly on the side of the governor as he has not hidden his subservience to the governor and his desires which includes the arrest and public humiliation of Mr Agba Jalingo. This arrest may not be unconnected with that desire.

The surprise element in all this is that the same Police have invited him to come on the 26th August, next Monday and he has promised to honour their invitation. One is at a loss why the arrest on 22nd August, four days earlier than the day of the invitation.

I just hope that this arrest is not from Cross River State Governor as this will be clearly illegal and condemnable. Nigerians will survive this season of intimidation and harassment. Right Activists, Human Rights lawyers and Civil Society should condemn this. We are not under military regime for God’s sake!

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Welcome to Lagos…, Muoka Beckons AGC Delegates

Former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos Branch Chairman, Mr. Alex Muoka pens a moving welcome note to delegates of the 2019 Annual General Conference

Compliments.

It gives me great joy to welcome you to Lagos – the host city of the 59th Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association.

Lagos is a cosmopolitan city, a cauldron where all things mesh. It has verve, swag and an energy that is contagious. It is welcoming… alluring…and accommodating.

Welcome.

Whether you are a first-time visitor, or a returning voyager…Lagos smacks you right in the face and wakes you up. If you can stay long enough…you fall in love and become a Lagosian!

In recent years, Lagos has become a regular host city for the NBA Annual Conference – touted as ‘the largest gathering of lawyers anywhere’. And yet each time the Conference comes round to Lagos again, there is something different and fresh.

This year, the NBA President and Executive Committee, the hard-working members of the Conference Planning Committee and the Local Organising Committee have gone to great lengths to plan a rich and rewarding one week event. There is something here for everyone. The theme – “Facing the Future” – is quite ambitious. It is also very topical, and timely.

The Conference opens today with a Juma’at Service at 1.30 pm at the Lagos Central Mosque (for the Muslim faithful) followed by a Reception at Harbour Point . The Christians will have a Multi-Denominational Service at 9.15 am on Sunday at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina.

Health and fitness freaks will be able to showcase their skills (and their track suits) tomorrow (Saturday) at the 10Km Health Walk which starts as early as 7.00 am at Harbour Point. The Conference Programme includes a Football Tournament between various Branches of the NBA (my home Branch – Lagos – is the favoured Team), and a Golf Kitty at the Ikoyi Club Golf Section (what is your handicap?). So you can (literarily) come and ‘try yourself’!

Most conferees will come in on Sunday…either by air or land. Please make your way to the Harbour Point on Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, to pick up your conference materials. There will be an NBA – National Executive Committee Meeting (for NEC members) at 12 noon on Sunday at Harbour Point, and a Welcome Cocktail at 5.00 pm at the City Hall, Lagos Island for all conferees. Of course, for the merry at heart, the traditional Formal Opening of the Friendship Centre will take place at 7.00 pm at the Harbour Point.

The formal Opening Ceremony holds on Monday morning at 9.00 am at the Eko Convention Centre, Eko Hotel, Lagos. With the array of distinguished guests, and the much-anticipated Keynote by Mr Horacio Bernardes Neto – the President of the IBA, you do not want to miss it. The technical sessions are wide and yet incisive – cutting across almost every area of practice and interest. A rich bouquet of 41 Sessions and 206 Speakers over a 3 Day-period.

And it is not just ‘all work, and no play’. The organisers have put together a very rich and diverse social programme that caters to every taste and interest. From the ‘Fela and the Kalakuta Queens’ Musical on Monday evening at 7.00 pm at the Convention Center, to the President’s Dinner on Tuesday night, and ending with the Pop Music Concert on Wednesday Night – there is something on, every night.

In addition, there are plenty of hosted side-events – already scheduled are the Lagos Branch ‘Jersey Party’ at 7.00 pm on Tuesday night (some people are yet to recover from the Lagos Party at the 2018 Conference in Abuja), and the Ikeja Branch Party on Wednesday night. Indeed Wednesday night will be ‘bloody’ with the Abuja and Port-Harcourt Branches (known for their convivial hospitality) also rolling out the drums (and green bottles). So make sure you pack your dancing shoes…and blue jeans (or visit the shops when you arrive).

The Conference ends on Thursday with the Annual General Meetings of the 3 Sections – SBL, SLP and SPIDEL – at 9.30 am, and the NBA Annual General Meeting at 12 noon, all holding at Harbour Point, followed by the Communique and Press Conference. The Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria (Clasfon) will then send off conferees with a Dinner at 6.00 pm – themed ‘Help All The Way’.

Friday morning will see conferees hugging, shaking hands and wishing each other ‘safe journey’ back home.

Whew, it promises to be one whirlwind week – and it starts today.

We salute the conference planning team, and you, as you come.

Lagos awaits you.

Ekaabo…Nnoo…Sannu,

Warm regards,

Alex N. Muoka
Former Chairman, NBA Lagos Branch (2013-2015)
Former Secretary, NBA Lagos Branch (2011-2013)

“Let’s be the change we desire…”

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POLICE BEAT, ABDUCT LAGOS LAWYER

  • Whereabouts still unknown, says Lagos Bar

Police operatives operating under the Lagos State Task Force this morning abducted a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos Branch, Mr. Aliyu Shuaib.

In a statement made available to CITY LAWYER by the branch and signed by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. James Sonde, it was gathered that the victim was picked up at the Iyana Oworo axis of Lagos while waiting to board a bus.

According to the statement , “He said he was beaten up, his face is swollen and bruised and his phone seized before he was bundled into a truck along with other people.”

The whereabouts of the lawyer remains unclear, as he is still being driven to an unknown destination by the police operatives.

The full statement reads:

One of our members, Mr. Aliyu Shuaib called the Secretary this morning that he has just been arrested by the police at iyana oworo as he was about boarding a bus to the island.

He said he was beaten up, his face is swollen and bruised and his phone seized before he was bundled into a truck along with other people.

The police task force team were operating in a convoy and picking up people along the road and their destination is not known for now.

While he was communicating with the Secretary of the branch, the Secretary passed the convoy approaching Obalende but the convoy of police men in pick ups and trucks are still moving as we speak.

His last phone conversation a few minutes ago was that they are now approaching Ajah and possibly heading for Epe.

The Chairman of the Branch has been informed and he has directed that the Vice Chair who is the Chair of the Human Rights Committee immediately attend to the matter.

We will have further updates as we get more information.

James Sonde
Publicity Secretary
NBA Lagos

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PROTEST RESTRICTION: ACCESS TO JUSTICE CARPETS POLICE

*Says restriction is ‘unconstitutional’

Leading human rights group, Access to Justice (A2J) has berated the Nigeria Police for restricting protests to the Unity Fountain, Abuja.

Describing the restriction as “unconstitutional,” A2J said it “amounts to an unwarranted interference with, and infringement of the fundamental rights of citizens to assemble peacefully and to express themselves as enshrined in Sections 40 and 41 of the Constitution and Article 7 of the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights.”

In a statement made available to CITY LAWYER, A2J said such restriction “has been ruled unlawful and unconstitutional by a decision of the Court of Appeal in Inspector General of Police v. All Nigeria Peoples Party and 11 others (2007) where the court held that the procurement of a police permit before a protest could hold was inconsistent with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and therefore an illegality.”

Below is the full text of the statement.

RESTRICTION OF CIVIL PROTESTS IN FCT ABUJA TO SPECIFIC SITE BY THE NIGERIAN POLICE IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND INFRINGES ON RIGHT TO ASSEMBLY, MOVEMENT AND EXPRESSION

On July 17th 2018, the Nigeria Police announced the restriction of protests in the Federal Capital Territory to the Unity Fountain, Central Business District, Abuja. The Police force said the restrictions were informed by the need to avert an occurrence of incidences similar to those which trailed the protests of October 30th 2018. It would be recalled that on October 30th 2018, officers of the Nigerian Army encountered and opened fire on a procession organized by members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) to protest the unlawful (and protracted) incarceration of their leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, by the Nigerian Government as well as the killing of several members of the sect by officers of the Nigerian Army on October 27th 2018.

The Police Force said it was aware of the fundamental rights of Nigerian citizens to peaceful assembly and movement as enshrined in Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights but however said that that these rights could be restricted or limited on grounds specified in the constitution.

The decision of the Police Force to restrict protesters from venues other than the Unity Fountain amounts to an unwarranted interference with, and infringement of the fundamental rights of citizens to assemble peacefully and to express themselves as enshrined in Sections 40 and 41 of the Constitution and Article 7 of the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights. Police restrictions on this right by specifying conditions of its exercise has been ruled unlawful and unconstitutional by a decision of the Court of Appeal in Inspector General of Police v. All Nigeria Peoples Party and 11 others (2007) where the court held that the procurement of a police permit before a protest could hold was inconsistent with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and therefore an illegality.

The reference by the Police to the need to avert the re-occurrence of the experience of the “protests of October” 2018 involving members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) is fear-mongering rattle, and a clearly unjustifiable blackmail to crackdown on politically unpopular assemblies. The shooting and killing of unarmed Shiite members by operatives of the Nigerian Army is a brutal testament of the military’s lawlessness, but it was not the exercise of the right of peaceful protest that caused it. It was simply caused by the rash, violent and repressive reaction of the military, under-pinned by the culture of impunity rooted in its psyche.

Nigeria expects its police force to act with responsibility, accountability and respect for democratic rights and not to follow in the footsteps of, or replicate the impunity characteristic of Nigeria’s military forces. In fact, had the police exercised its responsibilities diligently, it would have avoided the October 2018 calamities. Had it asserted its rights to manage the protests of October 2018, the military would not have inserted themselves into the course of those catastrophic events, since the management of civil protests is essentially the responsibility of a civilian police. Allowing the military to supplant it and take over its functions in controlling the exercise of a democratic right of civil dissent represents a massive failure on the part of the police force. Furthermore, the police force has grievously failed in the duty to bring the soldiers who horrendously killed unarmed protesters during the October 2018 protests to account, but have rather moved quickly to charge to court, again, IMN protesters over their recent protests a few days ago at the premises of the National Assembly.

By restricting the movements of protesters on the grounds it claims, the Nigerian Police fails to objectively assess and address the chain of events and factors which turn peaceful protests into violent actions; the police’ new policies stigmatize protesters rather than challenge and confront those who authorize inflammatory and brutal actions that escalate tensions during a civil protest, mismanage protest situations and kill scores of unarmed protesters.

The right to protest or assemble cannot be reduced to the right to assemble at only a specific place or time. The right is an aspect of political participation recognized by human rights treaties, and accommodates the freedom to assemble or protest in public spaces, accessible by members of the public. If law enforcement authorities are allowed the right to stipulate places where protests can be held, they would likely do so in a manner that effectively takes away the right, or denude it of meaningful content. The new policy limiting the place where protests can hold to only one place is just as unconstitutional as requiring a police permit before a protest can hold. While fundamental rights can be restricted on established grounds, only a legislation can establish the scope of the restriction, and courts must be satisfied that the purposes of such legislation are rationally related to the restriction. The Nigeria Police Force has not identified a law that authorizes it to limit the places where protests can hold. And it does not have legislative powers to make powers in that respect.

Consequently, Access to Justice calls on the Inspector General of Police to:
a. Immediately reverse the decision restricting public protests by persons or groups to the Unity Fountain, Abuja.
b. Order an immediate investigation into the October 30th 2018 killing of IMN protesters and bring to justice all persons who arbitrarily shot and killed scores of protesters and other civilians during the clashes.
c. Establish more constitutional guidelines for managing public protests that do not interfere with the free exercise of the right to peaceful assembly, movement and expression and instate safeguards to avoid the breakdown of law and order during future protests.
Joseph Otteh Daniel A. Igiekhumhe

Convener Programme Officer

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EXCLUSIVE: LPPC TO UNVEIL 37 NEW SANs TODAY

  • Solicitor-General, Rhodes-Vivour, Others Make List

Barring any last-minute hitches, the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) will today unveil a list of 37 lawyers who successfully scaled its screening exercise for award of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

The release of the long-awaited list is the climax of the sifting process which saw the LPPC issuing a final shortlist of 80 lawyers last May. In an advertorial heralding the list and signed by the LPPC Secretary/Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Hadizatu Mustapha, the committee said the shortlisted lawyers had scaled the “first and second advocates’ filtration, academic pre-qualification exercise and the appeal process, preparatory to the award of SAN for the year 2019.” Among those shortlisted were leading human rights lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa and 13 professors.

The committee had also invited complaints against any of the shortlisted candidates, saying: “Any complaint(s) presented to the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee must be accompanied with verifying affidavit deposed to

CITY LAWYER investigation shows that only 37 candidates made the cut this year, with 43 others falling by the way side. This is however higher than the 31 candidates awarded last year. While 20 applicants out of 124 received the rank in 2015, 22 SANs were appointed in 2016 out of 50 applicants. The number shot up to 29 in 2017 from 91 applicants, and peaked at 31 in 2018 from 106 applicants. 64 applicants were finally shortlisted for the rank in 2018 as against 80 this year.

Sources who are familiar with the process told CITY LAWYER that among those who made the sought-after list are Messrs Dayo Apata, Solicitor-General & Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice; Adedokun Matthew Makinde Esq; Daniel Chukwudi Enwelum Esq; Tuduru Uchendu Ede Esq, and John Onuegbulam Asoluka Esq; Others are Abiodun Adediran Olatunji Esq; Olusegun Omoniyi Jolaawo Esq; Olusegun Oyediran Fowowe Esq; Abdul Olajide Ajana Esq; Safiya Umar Badamasi, Katsina State Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary, and Adedoyin Oyinkan Rhodes-Vivour Esq, wife of Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

According to the committee, the rank is a privilege “awarded as a mark of excellence to members of the legal profession who are in full time legal practice, have distinguished themselves as advocates and have made significant contribution to the development of the legal profession.”

The process for the award of Senior Advocate of Nigeria was approved by the body of benchers, the highest judicial body in Nigeria statutorily responsible for the regulation of the legal profession and for admitting persons who desire to become legal practitioners. The guidelines for the award of the rank were first made in 2007 “and have since been reviewed 4 times in a bid to further improve and straighten the process in the light of experience of past exercises. The current guideline is the one of 17th December, 2013.” The committee is headed by the Chairman who is also the Chief Justice of Nigeria with 15 other members, one of whom is the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and Secretary of the Committee.

The committee states that “The guidelines provides for the identification of the very best applicants rigorously and objectively and promotes fairness, excellence and diversity and every effort shall be made to ensure that the conferment of the rank of senior advocate of Nigeria an (sic) applicants who have met the criteria reflect national character by achieving as much geographical spread and gender representation as possible. The exercise is an annual event and we will update the site from time to time to ensure implement (sic) in service delivery.” CITY LAWYER investigations however showed that the website was perhaps last updated in 2017.

Although the committee on one part states that the “current guideline” is the one of 17th December, 2013 it in another post states that “New LPPC Guidelines have been signed into effect by His Lordship, the Hon Chief Justice of Nigeria/Chairman Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee on 12th day of October, 2017. This new set of guidelines now determine the process of receiving applications, screening and selection of new Senior Advocates of Nigeria.”

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ENCOMIUMS, AS YEMI AKANGBE EMERGES NBA LAGOS CHAIR

• ICT PARTNER TO GET N700K

There is palpable excitement among members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos Branch as the first-ever branch elections via electronic voting climaxed with the election of leading corporate lawyer, Mr. Yemi Akangbe as the new branch Chairman. Akangbe, a partner at the law firm of Sofunde, Osakwe, Ogundipe & Belgore, polled 440 (56.8%) of the 774 votes to beat his closest rival, Mr. Adebola Lema who garnered 311 votes or 40.2%. Bolatumi Animashaun came a distant third with 23 votes or 3%.

In the traditional show of sportsmanship that the branch has become accustomed to, some candidates have been calling to congratulate their opponents who won. The branch elections have often been rancour-free over the years.

Meanwhile, there are strong indications that Vote-now.com, LLC, the Jacksonville, USA based ICT Partner for the elections may receive about $2300 or N703,000 for their efforts. Mr. Richard Akintunde SAN, Chairman of the Election Committee told CITY LAWYER in an interview that “The service provider will be paid at the conclusion of the election, depending on the total number of voters registered. Their fees are estimated at about $2300 but we will have a final figure at the conclusion of the election.”

It has also been encomiums galore for the Akintunde-led committee which once again delivered rancour-free polls. Akintunde had during an interview http://citylawyermag.com/2019/06/25/we-will-deliver-rancour-free-elections-nba-lagos-cte-chair-tells-city-lawyer/ with CITY LAWYER said: “I want to assure members of the NBA Lagos Branch, candidates, eligible voters and stakeholders that with their cooperation and support, the 2019 election by e-voting will be seamless. At the end of it all, we will all congratulate ourselves.” He has been involved in branch election management since 2009, three times as Secretary to the Election Committee. He is piloting the elections as Chairman for the second consecutive term.

Some members have taunted the national body, saying the NBA National Officers Elections should henceforth be conducted by the Akintunde-led committee. While Ngozi Onwuka said that “The voting process is so easy and stress free, unlike the national election,” Queeneth Hogan said: “I must say, the convenience of this process should be emulated by our National body. Very transparent process. Kudos to the Electoral Committee. Very well done.”

Another Bar Leader, Chukwuma Ezeala said: “May I use this opportunity to congratulate the Premier Bar for their commitment to excellence. I salute in particular our Chairman, Chukwuka Ikwuazom for visionary leadership, our Electoral Committee for their hard work. The contestants were great, our friend Lema and others with laudable projects who would not serve us now. To our Chairman Elect Yemi and other officers Elect congratulations and put on your seatbelts as you must surpass where our current Chairman has taken us to. The Premier Bar must lead and others follow. Finally I say bravo to our President, Paul Usoro SAN for his leadership at the National level and request him to recommend our system to other Branches to reduce the rancorous system in most Branches.”

Okey Ilofulunwa garnered 295 or 39.6 votes to become the Vice Chairman-elect, while Chuks Nwana polled 246 or 33.0 votes and Bode Omoboriowo brought the rear with 204 or 27.4% votes. Incumbent Publicity Secretary, Mr. Moshood Abiola polled 470 or 63.7% to clinch the coveted post of Secretary, beating Tochukwu Chukwumerije and Obinna Okereke who got 208 (28.2%) and 60 (8.1%) votes.

The post of Social Secretary went to Ngozi Egeonu with 406 or 54.7% votes while her opponent Adefowoke Ayo-Ponle polled 336 or 45.3% votes. Harry Ukaejiofor got 331 or 45.8% votes to beat his closest rival, Ben Ihesiulo who polled 245 or 33.9%. Dumgbara Torbari trailed the duo with 147 or 20.3% votes. Ifeoma Ben fought a hard battle to dust two of her rivals, polling 367 or 49.5%. Elo Adhekpukoli and Hammed Bakare got 260 or 35% and 115 or 15.5% votes respectively.

Other candidates whose nominations were not opposed were returned elected. These include Foluke Akinmoladun, Treasurer; Chinenye Oragwu, Financial Secretary; Anthonia Enitan Eke, Welfare Secretary; James Sonde, Publicity Secretary and Florence Chijioke-Duru, Provost.

Both Lema and Animashuan have congratulated Akangbe on his victory. Some other candidates have also congratulated their victorious opponents. In a whatsapp post barely an hour after close of polls, Lema wrote: “Good evening learned Seniors and Colleagues. Permit me to inform you that the result of the NBA, Lagos Branch 2019 Election has just been released by the Election Committee. The result showed Mr. Yemi Akangbe scored 440 votes as against Mr. Adebola Olarotimi LEMA who scored 311 votes. Mr. Yemi Akangbe has therefore been returned Chairman-elect of the Branch and l have called to congratulate him on his victory. I thank all members of our great Branch for your time, effort, energy, commitment and support. God bless NBA Lagos Branch. Adebola Olarotimi Lema.”

On her part, Animashaun wrote: “Congratulations to you, my brother, Yemi Akangbe! I wish you a successful tenure. Well done to our Electoral Committee for a job well done. Thank you all for your cooperation.”

A similar gesture was extended to Ilofulunwa when his opponent, Chuks Nwana wrote: “Well done to the electoral committee, it was a seamless process. To the winners Congratulations. Okey my brother special congratulations to you. It’s our Bar. Long live the Premier Branch.” On his part, defeated Assiatant Secretary candidate, Elo Adhekpukoli wrote: “I just called Ifeoma Ben to congratulate her.”

Members have commended the Election Committee for organizing a seamless and transparent exercise. Other members of the committee are HRM Chief E. A. Otokhina, Mrs. Sola Adegbonmire, Mr. Geff Eze and Mrs. Obosa Akpata, Secretary of the Committee.

At least one Bar Leader has commended the losing candidates for their show of sportsmanship. In a post seen by CITY LAWYER, former NBA presidential candidate and Chairman of the Council of Legal Education (CLE), Chief Emeka Ngige SAN gave Lema a pat on the back, saying: “Well done, Lema! A gallant fighter and true sportsman! It is well!”

On his part, senior lawyer, Chief Adewale Adeniji said: “Congratulations, Yemi. I am sure you will reach out to your co-contestants, if you’ve not done so already. I wish you well in your task of following a class Act that Chairman Chukwuka has been.”

Members have also commended the foresight of the Chukwuka Ikwuazom-led Executive Committee in initiating the electronic voting system in the branch. Fiery Bar commentator, Gerty Ben-Iloegbunam wrote: “I’m most grateful to God for the Spirit that entered and controlled Chukwuka Ikwuazom to appoint this Electoral Committee headed by the Learned Silk! His uncommon integrity has brought joy and acceptance of the outcome of this just concluded election. I’m most grateful to Almighty God. Thanks once more to the outgoing Exco, while I sincerely pray and hope that the New Exco will surpass in their duty. Congratulations all.”

Senior Partner at Olisa Agbakoba Legal (OAL), Victor Nwakasi added his voice to the encomiums when he said: “Chukwuka Ikwuazom! Character and strength are better proven. Thanks for being a great leader, truly proven by this process.”

Many branch members contend that Ikwuazom has raised the stakes in Bar governance, adding that the incoming regime has a tough task of taking the branch a notch higher.

Congratulating the winners on their victories, Ikwuazom wrote: “I congratulate Mr. Yemi Akangbe on his emergence as Chairman Elect of the great Premier Bar. I congratulate all the successful candidates in the election. To those who did not realize their ambitions in this election, I congratulate you as well for the good fight you all fought. To my dear brother Lema, I congratulate you for being such a good sport. You are a good man and an astute bar man. On behalf of the branch, I want to thank the Chairman and members of the Electoral Committee. I know the amount of work that you put in to give us a flawless election. God bless you all. We have demonstrated by this election that we are the Premier Bar and chart the course for other branches to follow. Long live the Premier Bar! Long live the NBA.”

Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Copyright 2018 CITY LAWYER. All materials available on this website are protected by copyright, trade mark and other proprietary and intellectual property laws. You may not use any of our intellectual property rights without our express written consent or attribution to www.citylawyermag.com. However, you are permitted to print or save to your individual PC, tablet or storage extracts from this Website for your own personal non-commercial use.

MIXED REACTIONS, AS LAGOS LAWYERS GO TO POLLS TODAY

888 Members to elect new Chair, Others
• Voters recount experiences

Voting has commenced in the Nigerian Bar Association (Lagos Branch) 2019 Elections as members are set to elect a new set of executives to administer the branch for the next two years.

According to figures published by the Mr. Richard Akintunde SAN-led Election Committee, 888 members are qualified to elect the new Executive Committee of the branch. While an initial 793 members made the voters’ list, additional lists of 90 and 5 members were later released by the committee following resolution of complaints filed by members who did not originally make the list.

However, the actual number of voters may be less, as about five names may have been duplicated on the voters list, bringing the final figure to about 883 voters.

Meanwhile, there has been mixed reactions regarding the voting process. While some voters took to whatsapp forums to announce that they had voted successfully, others complained that they had been unable to vote.

A senior lawyer reported that he received the following message when he attempted to vote: “The Internet connection between your web browser and the election server is currently experiencing a speed degradation. Please try again in a few seconds. If the problem persists, please send an email to support@vote-now.com and include the URL that you are attempting to load. We apologize for any inconvenience. Friday, June 28, 2019, 4:10:02 AM ET USA.”

When CITY LAWYER viewed the website, it indicated “Heavy Election Traffic” at 9:33 am.

Yet another eligible voter said: “I am yet to receive my link. My number and email was on the final list and I have resent it again to the above link provided, still no link.” A member however advised those who were yet to receive their links via email to telephone to “also check their spam (folder).”

On the suspicion that it was “heavy traffic” that was causing the disruption, a popular senior advocate disagreed, saying: “Heavy traffic slowing the voting process. 888 voters shouldn’t be heavy!” He however stated that “May be the rainfall is a contributory factor!”

Commenting on the “speed degradation” problem, a voter said: “I got the same message on my first attempt. But I tried it immediately thereafter and I was able to do it (vote).”

Some however poured encomiums on the Election Committee, describing the process as seamless. The Silk stated: “I eventually voted and have sent my comments as advised. I think with patience all eligible voters will be able to vote. There is still room for improvement in the process but all the same kudos to the election committee. Long live the Premier Branch!”

Social Secretary Uche Nwadialo was among those who reported that they had voted successfully, while another apparently excited voter said: “Voted. Electoral Committee members, kudos; very seamless. Thank you AKINTUNDE SAN for saving me from running around in the rains today. Our learned Silk Mr. AKINTUNDE SAN, you are too much.”

Twenty-two candidates http://nbalagoselections.com.ng/qualified-candidates/ are gunning for the 11 available votes, making an average of two candidates per post. Some of the candidates have however clinched their positions even before the voting commenced, as they are the only candidates vying for the posts. These include the posts of Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Welfare Secretary, Publicity Secretary and Provost.

Some voters had started receiving links to enable them access the voting portal on the eve of the elections. A sample of the text message received by a voter reads:
To: (Name of voter)
Registration code: xxxxx
6/28/19, 9:xx AM

“As you requested, the link below will load your record of the selections you made in the Nigerian Bar Association Lagos Branch 2019 Elections:

https://vtnw.com/mv.html?c==/elections/org/NBALagos/

You can print this web page for a hard copy of your choices if you prefer. The web address will be valid until the close of the election.”

An earlier notice by the Election Committee Chairman read: “ELIGIBLE VOTERS! PLEASE TAKE NOTICE ELECTRONIC VOTING FOR THE 2019 NBA LAGOS BRANCH ELECTIONS OPENED TODAY 28 JUNE 2019 AT 9.00 AM AND CLOSES AT 5.00 PM.” This was followed by another post thus: “PLEASE NOTE: Eligible voters who have not received the voting link should send their name email and phone number to nbaelection2019@gmail.com”

Akintunde had told CITY LAWYER in an interview that “Candidates will be allowed to nominate agents who will be granted some access to the Situation Room, where the ballot process will be monitored.” CITY LAWYER gathered that voting points and a Situation Room would be set up at the Lagos High Court Foyer. While eligible voters will utilize the voting points to cast their ballots, agents of the candidates will be permitted access to the Situation Room to view the election as it unfolds. However, only graphs showing the results being garnered by each candidate will be visible to the agents. The agents are also barred from going into the Situation Room with their telephones or recording the process.

A chairmanship candidate told CITY LAWYER that “this (Situation Room viewing centre) is an improvement from the 2016 NBA National Officers Elections which caused a lot of controversies.”

Sources at the stakeholders’ meeting told CITY LAWYER that the Election Committee assured that there would be a paper trail showing the entire voting pattern. It is not clear at press time whether an audit of the process will be done before release of the results or after completion of the exercise.

While Messrs Adebola Lema and Yemi Akangbe as well as Bolatumi Animashaun are gunning for the post of Chairman of the branch, Messrs Bode Omoboriowo, Chuks Nwana and Okey Ilofulunwa are vying for the Vice-Chairmanship position. The race for Secretary is between Moshood Abiola, Obinna Okereke and Tochukwu Chukwumerije.

The Social Secretary battle is between Ngozi Egeonu and Adefowoke Ayo-Ponle while Ben Ihesiulo, Harry Ukaejiofor and Dumgbara Torbari will square up for the post of Legal Adviser. Elo Adhekpukoli, Hammed Bakare and Ifeoma Ben will slug it out for the post of Assistant Secretary.

Candidates whose nominations were not challenged include Foluke Akinmoladun, Treasurer; Chinenye Oragwu, Financial Secretary; Anthonia Enitan Eke, Welfare Secretary; James Sonde, Publicity Secretary and Florence Chijioke-Duru, Provost.

The election ends at 5 p. m. today while results are expected immediately afterwards.

Vote-now.com, LLC (US) (VTNW) is the service provider and ICT Partner for the elections. According to the Jacksonville, USA based company, “The VTNW balloting system was specifically designed by University Scientists for use in Professional organization elections. With 21+ years of experience conducting web-based elections, we have assisted hundreds of business and academic professional organizations, HOA’s, non-profit groups, and universities with their balloting needs. Our experience makes a key difference in providing a smooth and easy to use election process for your members. We have served over 2375 ballots to date (millions of voters).”

Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Copyright 2018 CITY LAWYER. All materials available on this Website are protected by copyright, trade mark and other proprietary and intellectual property laws. You may not use any of our intellectual property rights without our express written consent or attribution to www.citylawyermag.com. However, you are permitted to print or save to your individual PC, tablet or storage extracts from this Website for your own personal non-commercial use.

INVESTIGATION: UNVEILING NBA LAGOS ELECTIONS ICT PARTNER

VOTE-NOW.COM has been selected by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos Branch Election Committee as its service provioder for the election holding tomorrow. In this article, CITY LAWYER tracks the antecedents of the electronic voting company which has conducted similar elections for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK), Nigeria Branch. The article is culled from https://vote-now.com.

The VTNW balloting system was specifically designed by University Scientists for use in Professional organization elections. With 21+ years of experience conducting web-based elections, we have assisted hundreds of business and academic professional organizations, HOA’s, non-profit groups, and universities with their balloting needs.

Our experience makes a key difference in providing a smooth and easy to use election process for your members. We have served over 2375 ballots to date (millions of voters).

We offer a complete line of hybrid voting options, combining web-based, telephone and paper ballots, that will increase voter participation, reduce expenses, and improve accuracy.Votes remain anonymous and secure.

We designed Vote-Now.com with a wealth of features to make it both easy to use and powerful. Ballot participation rate, or full results (you choose) can be viewed “live” by your election officials. Printout and/or archive the results when the election closes.

For the election administrator: Are you someone who just needs to “get this done ASAP” and do not have the time to add another task to your schedule? Our experienced staff can set up and run your election. We act as an independent third party to administer the ballot and make sure that everything goes smoothly.

Ballot access is web based, so no special software is required for your members. We contact your members by email and/or post and provide the ballot registration information they need to vote. Voter turnout will improve. You take the credit. Do you have members who do not use email or even a computer? We have a solution.

For the voter: casting a ballot is quick and easy; all that is needed to vote is a computer, smart phone, or tablet with access to the internet, or just a regular telephone. If you have an email account, you can receive a link to your ballot electronically. We can also send you a first class letter or postcard containing your voting information which can then be used to vote on-line or you can mail back the paper ballot to us for counting. Try a Demo Vote.

We provide a variety of services and price ranges depending on the size of your voter group. Our system has been used by groups as small as 30 and as large as 60,000+ potential voters. The cost per voter is far less than the cost of printing and mailing a “paper” ballot, and since the results of the election are automatically tallied in real-time and available immediately, the labor and potential human error of vote counting is minimized.

Here are the steps (try it now) that a voter would take; total time, less than a minute:

Voter receives email invitation to vote in their personal email account and/or post card or ballot letter mailed first class.

(The invitation includes a link to our secure site with the voter’s personal registration code embedded. Once a ballot has been cast using this code, it will not work again.)

Voter clicks the link in the email invitation. The ballot automatically loads in the voter’s browser. No password typing needed.

Voter makes selections of candidates. A verification screen then shows the candidates chosen, and alerts about any undervotes. The voter can return to the ballot to make changes if necessary.

Upon submission, the voter can send comments about the election, or see current vote counts (both are administrative options). Done!

Paper ballots can still be used for those members that can’t (or won’t) use a computer, and vote tallies can be made electronically.

Vote-Now Advantages:

*       2375+ elections served (over 1 million voters) and 21+ years of web-based election experience that makes a difference!

*       Secure server encryption of ballot submissions and results – providing privacy over the internet.

*       Options include toll-free telephone (touchtone) voting, weighted voting, proxy voting, checkbox and choice (ranked) voting.

*       Ballot link emails sent through certified email system with 98%+ deliverability.

*       Custom ballot graphics to match your organizational logo/design

*       Full election administration by our staff, providing an independent 3rd party to conduct the election and certify the results.

*       Optional postcard or paper ballot voting notification to voters handled by our staff. Business Reply Mail (BRM) postage paid return envelopes.

Also included:

*       Redundant data storage for all election results.

*       No server, mobile app, special software, or computer specialist resources required at your site.

*       Email, voice mail, and web based technical support.

WE WILL DELIVER RANCOUR-FREE ELECTIONS, NBA LAGOS C’TE CHAIR TELLS CITY LAWYER

  • UNVEILS ICT PARTNER

In this no-holds barred interview, Chairman of NBA Lagos Branch Election Committee, Mr. Richard Akintunde SAN says the elections will be free, fair and credible.

Please briefly introduce yourself.

I am Richard Ayodele Akintunde, SAN, the Chairman of the NBA Lagos Branch 2019 Election Committee

How does it feel being asked to midwife yet another election for the Premier Bar?

I am honoured to be asked once again to Chair the Election Committee of the Premier Bar. I am particularly excited because this year branch elections will be conducted by E-voting. This is a historic event and my committee members and I are super excited to be part of this history making exercise.

How will you describe your team in the Electoral Committee?

I have an excellent team made up distinguished legal practitioners and members of the NBA Lagos Branch. The team consists of HRM Chief E.A. Otokhina, Mrs. Sola Adegbonmire, Mr. Geff Eze and Mrs. Obosa Akpata who is the Secretary of the Committee. We have an excellent working relationship and we are all committed to delivering a free, fair and credible electoral process.

There are concerns that the complaints procedure for members whose names were omitted in the voters’ register is not clear-cut. For instance, some argue that the notice was silent on members submitting Bar Practicing Fees and Branch Dues receipts and that this may discourage members from following through with the process. What is your view on this?

The complaints procedure is clear cut and straightforward and it requires Branch Members whose names were not included in the List of Eligible Voters published by the Committee to submit their complaints. To be Eligible to vote you must be a Financial Member of the Branch and must have paid your bar practicing fees and annual branch dues, as and when due, for the two (2) years preceding the election or since enrolment, if less than two (2) years post-call and you must have attended 5 monthly meetings in a 12 month period preceding the elections. The criteria for eligibility to vote is contained in the Uniform Bye Laws and it was widely published by the Election Committee.

Your name will not appear on the list of Eligible Voters if you have not met these criteria. As members of the branch we all know these requirements. It behooves you therefore in your complaint to show that you have met these criteria by providing useful information [such as receipts showing that you paid your practicing fees and branch dues as required and you attended the require number of meetings] to the Election Committee to enable the Committee include such member’s name in the Supplementary List.

When the Election Committee published the List of Eligible Voters, branch members whose names who had complaints were advised to submit their complaints by email. In the course of reviewing such complaints those whose names were not found on the list of Financial Members of the Branch supplied to us by the Branch Secretariat were requested by email to submit proof of payment of bar practicing fees and annual branch dues for 2018 and 2019 as required and we have been receiving their responses.

Also the names of members who sent in their complaints were checked in the Attendance books and the minutes of meetings from June 2018 to June 2019 to confirm if they attended the 5 monthly meetings required.

Members who meet the requirements have will be included in the Supplementary list of Eligible Voters to be published by the Election Committee.

The complaint process is designed to address any mistakes or omissions on the list of eligible after which a supplementary list will be published. Members who wish to participate in the election process should not be discouraged at all, the complaint process works and we have been using the complaints process for the last 5 elections to include eligible voters whose names were omitted on a Supplementary list.

The integrity of the voters’ register has also been questioned by the observation that some candidates already cleared by your committee had their names omitted from the list. How do you respond to this?

The name of one candidate [Obinna Okereke] was omitted and we have rectified the omission. The candidates whose name was misspelt has also been rectified. The omission of one person’s name is not enough to question the integrity of the list of eligible voters. The omission was an innocent one and his name will appear on the Supplementary list. The essence of publishing the list of eligible voters no later than 14 days before the elections is to afford branch members the opportunity to complain and for the Committee to take on board the complaints and make corrections if need be. We are working day and night to attend to all complaints received. I want to assure our members that the list of eligible voters and the supplementary one coming is credible.

Some have argued that the regularization of the voters’ register ought to have been done online, especially as some registered voters may be overseas during this period. Why did your committee opt for a manual complaints and regularization process?

The initial list of eligible voters was published in hard and soft copies. The list is available online at www.nbalagoselections.com.ng The Complaints process is not manual as complaints are to be sent to the Committee by e-mail to nbaelection2019@gmail.com . The complaint will be resolved by painstakingly going through the records provided to us by the Branch Secretariat manually to show that such member paid his practicing fees and branch dues as required and attended the 5 monthly meetings required. Once this is resolved the names of successful complainants will be published in hard and soft copies. The Supplementary list will soon be available online at www.nbalagoselections.com.ng

Resolution of the complaint can only be done manually by physically going through the Attendance Register of Meetings and the records of the branch for 2018 and 2019 of Financial Members. We are using technology in the best possible way and you don’t have to be in Nigeria to log on to the website or send an e-mail.

It has been said that there is no feedback mechanism for members to know whether their complaints have been resolved. How do you respond to this?

We are in touch with members who have sent in their complaints and trust me we are resolving their complaints. We will soon publish a supplementary list of Eligible Voters. We will also let members who sent in complaints know by email why their names are not on the Supplementary list.

Your committee has not provided any Help Desk or hotline for members to make enquiries on the electoral process? Is this deliberate?

We have an e-mail nbaelection2019@gmail.com which allows the members and the public to contact the Committee and we have been attending to various enquires from members and the public sent through this e-mail address. We will set up a Help Desk after the Final Batch of Eligible Voters is published and a hotline will be provided. Members are free contact the Election Committee via e-mail.

Some candidates say that your Committee has not been carrying them along, that the processes leading to the elections have been shrouded in secrecy. What is your view on this?

The Uniform Bye Laws sets out the duties of the Election Committee and we have been carrying out our duties as set out to the letter. We have a website where all the information relating to the election is published. We have printed posters, flexes and other online materials regarding the electoral process as required by the Uniform Bye Laws. I have addressed several monthly meetings to talk about the electoral process. The processes leading to the election is not shrouded in secrecy. We are constantly publishing online materials giving information about the election process. In the history of my involvement with the election process in the NBA Lagos Branch we have never published as much information as we have done in the 2019 elections. The Committee has constantly been posting online materials and flexes giving out information on the election process. The electoral process is open and transparent. We are having a parley with candidates, agents, stakeholders and the media on Tuesday, the 25th of June 2019 and we intend to continue to engage with them. Many candidates have been contacting the Committee on one thing or the other.

Do you plan to have a stakeholders’ meeting with the candidates before the elections?

We intend to have a stakeholders meeting with all the candidates, their agents, the branch exco and the media on Tuesday the 25th of June 2019 at the NBA Lagos Branch Conference Room at 12 noon.

Some have argued that enlightenment has been low on the electoral process, especially as the electronic voting model is being adopted for the first time by the branch. How do you respond to this?

We have constantly published online materials on various platforms to enlighten Branch Members of the Step by Step process for the E-Voting. At the last Branch Meeting, I addressed the June Branch Meeting and went through the step by step process for the e-voting. I also did a demonstration of the e-voting process. Members were given the opportunity to ask questions about the process and I provided answers. We intend to have a stakeholders meeting with all the candidates, their agents, the branch Exco and the media on Tuesday the 25th of June 2019 at the NBA Branch Conference Room at 12 noon to once again explain the e-voting process step by step and do a demonstration of the voting process. We will also do the same explanation at the Manifesto Day at the Foyer at 2.00 pm on the same day.

Why is your committee still keeping the ICT Partner for the elections under wraps even days to the election?

We are not keeping the Service Provider under wraps. At the June monthly meeting of the NBA Lagos Branch, I disclosed the name of the service partner in a demonstration to all members present. The Service Provider is: vote-now.com. They are a reputable ballot service provider, with extensive experience in providing secure ballot options to various professional organizations and associations all over the world since 2003. They have conducted 2,375 ballots by e-voting till date.

What is the level of access to be given to the candidates or their agents as to the backend of the e-voting platform?

Candidates will be allowed to nominate agents who will be granted some access to the Situation Room, where the ballot process will be monitored.

Are you confident about the integrity of the e-voting platform and its ability to withstand possible attacks from hackers among others?

The election servers are protected with encrypted connections and have valid SSL certificates. All web connections are made via https with 256 bit security. Vote-now.com is certified Grade A on security when tested with the SSL labs security test. We offer all members the highest assurances of rock-solid security of the voting process.

There are concerns that non-release of the June attendance list may lead to padding of the voters’ register. Are these valid concerns? Do you plan to release the list?

The attendance register for June has been provided by the Secretariat to the Committee to enable the Committee do its work and attend to complaints. The attendance register cannot be padded while in the custody of the election committee. It is the duty of the Branch Secretariat to release the attendance list of the June meeting not that of the Election Committee.

When are campaigns expected to cease, given that the deadline is not stated on the published Guidelines?

Candidates are expected to stop all forms of campaigns by 12 midnight on Thursday the 27th of June 2019.

Only 793 eligible voters were on the voters’ list published by your committee. How many voters are ultimately expected to participate in the elections?

We will able to determine the total number of voters that will participate in the elections after we have attended to all complaints and published the Supplementary List. Watch out the list is coming out soon.

Do you have any concerns regarding the elections?

The collation of data of Eligible Voters is very critical to E-voting. So far, the Election Committee has received about 200 e-mails from Eligible Voters updating their e-mail addresses and phone numbers. Eligible Voters are required to check their information on the NBA Lagos Branch Website nbalagos.org and update their information if necessary.

Accurate date is critical to the success of the 2019 elections by e-voting. We are working assiduously to harvest the required data required. I once again use this opportunity to appeal to all eligible voters to ensure that they check with the NBA branch secretariat that their emails and phone numbers are correct. Eligible voters can also supply their telephone and emails to the Committee at nbaelection2019@gmail.com

When are the results of the elections expected?

The results will be announced shortly after the conclusion of the e-voting exercise. Will there be a paper trail for the results of the elections? The service provider will make available a breakdown of the results after the election, showing a transparent and auditable process.

Is there any complaints procedure for candidates who may wish to contest the results?

There is no complaints procedure in the NBA uniform Bye-Law for Branches. Candidates have already signed on their nomination forms that they will abide by the result of the elections.

What are your last words for voters and other stakeholders?

I want to thank the candidates, the branch Exco and branch members for their cooperation thus far. I want to appeal to eligible voters to familiarize themselves with the step by step guide to e-voting which has been posted on several platforms and on www.nbalagoselections.com.ng

I want to assure members of the NBA Lagos Branch, candidates, eligible voters and stakeholders that with their cooperation and support, the 2019 election by e-voting will be seamless. At the end of it all, we will all congratulate ourselves. On behalf of the Election Committee, I thank you for this opportunity.