EXCLUSIVE: ECNBA BARS PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES FROM ‘THE PLATFORM’ DEBATE

BY EMEKA NWADIOKE

The Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) has warned presidential candidates against participating in an “interactive session” scheduled for today by a The Platform Nigeria, saying the programme “does not meet with the approval of the ECNBA.”

In an email obtained by CITY LAWYER, the electoral body cited its earlier statement on the matter as well as provisions of the NBA Constitution (as amended), saying: “For the avoidance of doubt and as previously communicated to the Presidential Candidates, the proposed advertised interactive session for NBA Presidential Candidates organized by The Platform Nigeria, scheduled to hold on Sunday 19th July 2020, does not meet with the approval of the ECNBA.”

A source familiar with the operations of the electoral committee told CITY LAWYER yesterday that the committee had decided to deal decisively with the recurring issue of campaign debates, saying: “The committee will take a step to stop the recurrence of these issues. They are already working on something.”

CITY LAWYER had in its report noted the anxiety among Bar Leaders over the proposed interactive session, even as there were feelers that at least one of the presidential candidates had opted to shun the programme.

Below is the full text of the ECNBA email.

Dear Sir/Madam,

It has come to the attention of the ECNBA that Candidates in the NBA National Elections have been engaged in various forms of electioneering campaigns without regard to the provisions of the NBA Constitution 2015 (as amended) and the guidelines set out by the ECNBA.

We would like to draw your attention to the provisions of the NBA Constitution, the ECNBA Election Guidelines and ECNBA Statement No. 014 which clearly prohibit any form of campaign, save for that which is provided for in the Constitution.

For the avoidance of doubt and as previously communicated to the Presidential Candidates, the proposed advertised interactive session for NBA Presidential Candidates organized by The Platform Nigeria, scheduled to hold on Sunday 19th July 2020, does not meet with the approval of the ECNBA.

We count on your usual understanding and cooperation as we strive to carry out a respectable and responsible electoral exercise for our dear profession.

Accept the professional regards of the ECNBA.

Cordelia U. Eke
Secretary

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ECNBA PUBLISHES CANDIDATES’ MANIFESTOS ON NBA WEBSITE

BY EMEKA NWADIOKE

The Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) has published the manifestos of candidates for the forthcoming NBA Elections on the association’s website, exactly 21 days prescribed by the NBA Constitution (as amended). The manifestos are hosted here.

Paragraph 2.3(h) of the Second Schedule to the NBA Constitution provides that “The Electoral Committee shall collate all materials, arrange them in alphabetical order without regard for the position being sought and publish them in an electronic Election Magazine to be hosted on the NBA website at least twenty-one (21) days before the election.”

CITY LAWYER recalls that the electoral committee had in its ECNBA STATEMENT NO. 013 directed the candidates “to submit an A4 size copy of his/her curriculum vitae (of not more than 4 pages), a comprehensive manifesto and other campaign materials (all in electronic form) on or before 6:00PM on Monday 6th July 2020, for upload on the NBA website.” It added: “For the avoidance of doubt, campaigns can only be carried out by publication of campaign materials supplied to the ECNBA to be hoisted on the NBA website. Travelling across the country to solicit for votes is prohibited.”

Copyright 2020 CITY LAWYER. Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Join us on Facebook at https://web.facebook.com/City-Lawyer-Magazine-434937936684320 and on TWITTER at https://twitter.com/CityLawyerMag 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.

‘You Have Not Been Fair to Us,’ Olanipekun Tells Mahmoud

Early signs that the forthcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) will be explosive emerged yesterday as former NBA President, Chief Wole Olanipekun warned the Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud SAN-led NBA to shelve any plan to amend the association’s controversial constitution.

In a letter dripping with angst and discomfiture, the go-to lawyer expressed disappointment at the situation, adding that the NBA President had “not been fair” to the past NBA presidents and secretaries who admonished him to shelve the constitutional amendment project.

Below is the full text of the statement:

2nd August, 2018

Mr. A. B. Mahmoud, SAN
The President,
Nigerian Bar Association,
NBA House,
Plot 1101, Muhammadu Buhari Way,
Central Business District,
F.C.T. Abuja.

Dear Mr. President,

RE: AMENDMENT TO THE NBA CONSTITUTION
First and foremost, may I extend my professional and brotherly courtesies to you as our/my President.
You would recall that at the last meeting of past Presidents and Secretaries of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) called at your instance at Fraser Suites, Abuja on Friday, 20th July, 2018, you brought up, amongst others, your proposed amendments to the NBA constitution and apprised us of the far-reaching amendments being proposed by you on the eve of your departure, as the President of the foremost professional association in Nigeria. After a very extensive discussion on your proposals, and considering the depth and implications of such amendments, the meeting advised that you should shelve and/or put the proposals on hold, and allow your successor-in-office do further consultations on them, both at the National Executive Committee (NEC) and general levels and platforms, in order to adequately weigh the pros and cons of the proposed amendments before passing same. It was on this note that the meeting closed, and you did not disagree with the wise counsel.

Surprisingly, a notice or plan/intention to amend our constitution, as proposed and tabled by you at the meeting has now been sent out, and I must confess, I am in receipt of same, to the effect that the proposed amendments will be presented at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the NBA. I am taken aback by this development, and I kept on wondering why you ever brought up the topic at our meeting of Friday, 20th July,2018, if you knew you would not respect our opinion. Mr. President, you have not been fair to us, to put it mildly. As a person, I protest this attitude and action of yours. Needless reminding you, Mr President that the same meeting resolved a lot of burning issues to your advantage and satisfaction.

As agreed at the said meeting Mr. President, may I again advise and counsel that you put on hold the proposed constitutional amendments. No one possesses the monopoly of wisdom, and it is only courteous that you also respect the objections raised to some of your amendments at the meeting, despite the fact that some of us saw the proposals for the first time just at the meeting. No leader, however brilliant, industrious, good-intentioned or pragmatic can ever resolve all the problems of his association, society or country in his life time or within his tenure. You cannot be an exemption. Please let us learn from history; and be reminded that amendments to the NBA constitution should no longer be randomly done. I dare say that the proposed amendments, in some material particulars, will turn out to be an ill-wind, which will bring or blow in no fresh breath. You are advised not to force the amendments on our beloved Association at the AGM, which, with much respect, might be constituted in such a way that the attendees would not readily understand or appreciate the unending conundrum we will be plunged into if the amendments sail through. And in case you insist on going ahead to present the amendments at the AGM, can you be gracious enough, as a lawyer and leader, to circulate this letter of mine to the AGM.

Allow me to copy this letter to the past Presidents and Secretaries of the NBA.
Once again, Mr. President, accept my high regards.

I remain,

Your colleague and predecessor-in-office,

Chief Wole Olanipekun, OFR, SAN, LL.D, FCIArb., FNIALS.

CC:
Chief Richard Akinjide, CON, SAN
Chief (Mrs) Priscilla Kuye
Chief T.J.O. Okpoko, OON, SAN
C.J. Okocha, SAN
Chief Bayo Ojo, CON, SAN
Prince Lanke Odogiyan
Olisa Agbakoba, SAN
Chief Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN
Joseph Bodunrin Daudu, SAN
Okechukwu Wali, SAN
Augustine Alegeh, SAN
Dele Adesina, SAN
Chief Isiaka Olagunju, Esq

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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.

‘We are studying ECNBA’s Revised Time Table,’ Says Osigwe

• Hints at Constitutional Crisis
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• Election without Prior NEC Approval Unconstitutional – Ukiri

The last may not have been heard on the much revised election time table rolled out by the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA). This is because some lawyers contend that the new time table is fraught with constitutional challenges, given that the NBA leadership did not obtain an approval of the National Executive Committee (NBA-NEC) prior to release of the revised time table. Continue Reading