NASS SIEGE: Ojukwu Tasks NBA on Democracy

  • Frontline presidential candidate in the forthcoming Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Elections, Prof. Ernest Ojukwu SAN has urged NBA leadership to play a more active role in securing Nigeria’s fragile democracy. Continue Reading

NASS Siege Grave Threat to Democracy – NBA

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has described today’s siege on the premises of the National Assembly as “grave threat to our democracy.” Continue Reading

LAWYERS’ BANK: Committee Submits Report

The Adhoc Committee on the Acquisition of Lawyers Microfinance Bank chaired by Mr. Femi Olubanwo, a Founding Partner at Banwo & Ighodalo, yesterday submitted its report to NBA President, Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud SAN.

Present at the occasion were the three presidential candidates in the forthcoming NBA National Officers Elections now slated to hold on August 19 and 20, 2018. The event took place on the sidelines of the press conference on the elections. Continue Reading

Resignation Scam Designed to Scuttle Election – NBA

• ‘Our Letterhead was Cloned’
• ‘We Will Investigate this Forgery’

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has said that the purported resignation of the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) Chairman, Prof. Auwalu Yadudu SAN was designed to scuttle ongoing efforts to conduct the troubled NBA National Officers Elections.

In a statement by NBA General Secretary, Mr. Isiaka Olagunju, the association debunked the alleged resignation, noting that both its letterhead and Yadudu’s signature were cloned. The NBA vowed that the forgery would be investigated.

Yadudu had yesterday told CITY LAWYER that he had not resigned, descriing the alleged resignation letter as “fake.” In a text message he later sent to CITY LAWYER, the embattled electoral committee chairman also hinted that the police would be invited to look into the matter with a view to bringing the culprits to justice. His words: “I am afraid we would make it a police case.”

The legal community was agog yesterday when news filtered in that the Law teacher had ‘stepped aside’ from the post, thereby pouring fuel into the preparations for the biennial elections.

Below is the full text of the statement:

PRESS RELEASE: PROFESSOR AUWALU YADUDU REMAINS THE CHAIRMAN OF THE ECNBA
The attention of the Nigerian Bar Association has been drawn to an online media report by the ‘The Nigeria Lawyer’ on 6th August, 2018, that the Chairman of the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) Professor Auwalu
Yadudu has resigned.

It is quite unfortunate that the report was not only built on falsehood but constitute an act of forgery. The official letterhead of the NBA and the Signature of the Chairman of the ECNBA were forged in that publication. The
entire content of the publication is false.

The NBA will ensure that this publication that is perpetrated to disrupt the ongoing electoral process to the extent of forging the NBA official letterhead and signature of the Chairman of ECNBA are investigated.

We therefore wish to state that Professor Auwalu Yadudu and the members of the ECNBA are committed towards ensuring a credible, free and fair election.

We further implore all members of the Association to desist from publishing contents and/or taking steps that will disrupt the electoral process but rather cooperate with the ECNBA in ensuring a credible, free and fair election.

Thank you

Aare Isiaka Abiola Olagunju
General Secretary
Dated 6th August, 2018

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INSURGENCY: NBA to Launch Support Fund for Lawyers

The Nigerian Bar Association is set to launch a fund to support members affected by violence in the North East.

Below is an NBA statement on the matter:

INVITATION TO THE LAUNCH OF NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION SUPPORT FUND FOR LAWYERS AFFECTED BY INSURGENCY IN THE NORTH EAST NIGERIA

The NBA will be launching a Support Fund for our colleagues who were affected by insurgency in the North East.

The Launch is slated to hold by 10:00am on Friday 10th August 2018 at the Auditorium of NBA National Secretariat, Plot 1101, Cadastral Zone AOO, Central Business District Abuja. H.E. Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, CFR the Executive Governor of Sokoto State will Chair the occasion. Other notable dignitaries will also be in attendance.

Kindly confirm your participation via email to : folake.peters@nigerianbar.org.ng

We urge you to support this worthy cause.

For enquiries, please contact Folake on 08035568537.

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NBA Storms Port Harcourt for Parley

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) is set to hold a “Town Hall Meeting” in Port Harcourt to forge a roadmap for peace and development in the Niger Delta zone.

Below is a statement on the meeting:

INVITATION TO THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION ONE-DAY TOWN HALL MEETING ON THE NIGER-DELTA

Dear Sir/Madam,

The Nigerian Bar Association invites you to a 1-day Town Hall Meeting with Stakeholders in the Niger-Delta, with the theme: ‘Improving on Peace, Security and Sustainable Development in the Niger-Delta Region- the Imperatives’.
It shall be a convergence of key stakeholders in the Niger-Delta region including representatives of the local, state and federal governments; ministries, departments and agencies; security and law enforcement agencies; corporate, non-governmental and civil society organisations. The Town Hall shall deliberate on the issues affecting the region and proffer solutions which would be of immense benefit to the Niger-Delta.

The Town Hall Meeting is scheduled to hold on Wednesday 8 August 2018 at the NBA Port Harcourt Branch, No 1 Bank Road, Old GRA, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

For further enquiries, please contact Okechukwu Uzoechi on 08064919615 and uzoechi.okechukwu@nigerianbar.org.ng

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‘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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NBA Is Corrupt, Ineffective – Ikorodu Branch Chair

Newly elected Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikorodu Branch, Mr. Bayo Akinlade has accused the association of being “corrupt, rotten and ineffective.”

In a statement released today, Akinlade, who also doubles as the Convener of Fight Against Corruption in the Judiciary (FIACIJ) also reviewed the ongoing NBA voter verification exercise and scored it low.

Below is the full text of the statement:

NBA National Election: A Colossal Waste of Time, Energy and Resources

It is embarrassing to think that lawyers will wake up in the wee hours of the morning to undertake a seemingly effortlessly task of verifying ones details. It is further embarrassing when we spend a lot of time trying to verify only to be given multi error messages.

How ridiculous is it for a chairman of a branch to receive a message that his name could not be found or no records match his SCN?

The national NBA is nothing short of a complete disappointment. We had ample time to perfect this universal suffrage idea. With all the money we spend travelling and organizing conferences we could not invest in simple data gathering and IT support mechanisms.

What infuriates me the most is when I read somewhere that it is the fault of the branches because they didn’t accurately compile list of eligible voters.

This brings me to a possible solution to this electronic voting scam election scheme. Since the national relies heavily on a list that comes from branches let us device a means where each branch becomes a polling station and each vote is cast at the branch level with each candidate having his supporter ensure it is not rigged [to say the least, it is even embarrassing to think that such an election which is for service should be rigged but the fact remains NBA IS CORRUPT, ROTTEN AND COMPLETELY INEFFECTIVE].

While there still exist a pending suit against the elections in 2016 it is very likely that there will be another suit if this elections should proceed without everyone who are eligible to vote being given a fair opportunity to cast their votes without being frustrated by the electronic system.

After all the time and efforts and money spent by candidates and their supporters, it would be sad if we don’t get this right.

BAYO Akinlade Esq.

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VERIFICATION: Odinkalu Blasts NBA, Electoral C’te

Former National Human Rights Commission Chairman, Professor Chidi Odinkalu has lampooned the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and its electoral committee for the hiccups that have attended the verification exercise for this year’s National Officers election.

Below is the full statement as sent to CITY LAWYER:

Good morning colleagues,

I have lost count of the number of people who have tried to encourage me to persevere with the verification process for these NBA elections. They are mostly people whom I respect. So I have paid them heed.

As much as I have tried, I have been unsuccessful so far and this is day 3 of trying. I can’t even begin to compute the amount of time it has cost me. Nor the hours in time I should have been asleep.

With so many of us stuck in this, I want to ask honestly why are we as a bunch of professionals so tolerant of clear incompetence? What happened to our capacities – collective and individual – for indignation?

Surely NBA’s election is not an accident. We know when it is supposed to happen. Every tenure in the NBA has 2 years notice to prepare for it. Yet here we are, out of time, with an election platform that is clearly untested, flawed in design, unknown to the electorate, not understood by the ECNBA and absolutely unfit for purpose.

As voters, we should be angry. As professionals we should be ashamed. This exercise has turned into cruel and unusual punishment of the kind that is clearly prohibited by our national constitution. No election should justify or involve this amount of pointless loss in transaction cost.

The result is that much of the electorate will be disenfranchised. Any mandate that emerges from this would have questions in legitimacy. The assurances of the ECNBA about electoral creibility are hollow, empty and utterly devoid of credulity.

I would like the NBA to have a leadership transition. I am not sure it should be purchased at the steep cost to institution credibility that we seem willing to sleep-walk into. Something has to change and fast too. We don’t have time…

I am Chidi Anselm Odinkalu

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CHAMSGATE: Mahmoud Speaks, Reassures Lawyers

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has stated that the 2018 NBA National Officers election will be shifted by a few days. Also, CHAMS Plc will provide the e-voting platform while other ICT firms will conduct the pre-election and post-election verification and audit respectively. Continue Reading