Guy Ikokwu Wants NBA Election Cancelled

Veteran politician and senior lawyer, Chief Guy Ikokwu has called for the cancellation of the controversial Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) National Officers Election.

In a statement titled “TO BE FOREWARNED IS TO BE FOREARMED,” Ikokwu who has clocked 56 years at the Bar, stated that the election was “fraught with problems which had not been resolved even as at the date of the voting exercise.”

The vocal lawyer urged the Body of Benches to “fashion a more credible system for a new voting exercise for the BAR to regain its honour which is currently being subjected to unnecessary disdain and ignominy.”

Mr. Paul Usoro SAN was declared winner of the election while the defeated presidential candidates, Chief Arthur Obi Okafor SAN and Prof. Ernest Ojukwu SAN poked holes in the exercise.

The statement reads:

20th August, 2018

TO BE FOREWARNED IS TO BE FOREARMED

We all know and realize that computer systems have always been faulted or manipulated if they are left unchecked. The usual saying in reference to computers is “Garbage in Garbage out”

In the United States today the issue of computer hacking is having monumental effect on the relations between America and Russia. In America itself there is a dysfunctional relationship between the Presidency and the Senate and the House of Representatives (Congress) which has been investigating the issue of hacking of the2016 USA elections by Russian Agents. Even in the United States they have both electronic and manual voting systems. Where there is a dispute, a losing candidate can request a recount of the votes cast manually to have an exact result not subject to further disputation.

The election result of the Premier Branch of Lagos with thousands of accredited lawyers have not been subjected to any dispute in the last 10 years, because of our system of accreditation, verification and voting at the same venue, same date, and same hours with representatives of the contestants and elected experienced supervisors of the exercise.

The system is such that eligible legal voters are not disenfranchised by any system unless the lawyer does not want to vote or is not available in person.

The last NBA election 2 years ago was also fraught with e-voting problems which led to a High Court pending litigation. This current election exercise was also fraught with problems which had not been resolved even as at the date of the voting exercise which is a real shame for the legal profession in Nigeria.

I saw the dangers ahead in this exercise and had to post a warning that the BAR must utilize a system that is full proof no matter who the contestants are. The current failed system has to be challenged effectively so that we can have a credible system which combines electronic and manual accreditation of voting no matter whose ox is gored.

The current National Executive should therefore suspend any further declaration through the current malfunctioning system which may have been systematically hacked for the endorsement of the National Conference holding in Abuja. The body of benchers can be entrusted to fashion a more credible system for a new voting exercise for the BAR to regain its honour which is currently being subjected to unnecessary disdain and ignominy.

The member of lawyers disenfranchised is far greater than the merging of votes between the contestants! It must be cancelled for a proper election machinery to be set up and salvage the reputation of Nigerian lawyers! I am not bordered about who wins but about the probity of the system, its transparency and lack of manipulation and inordinate disenfranchisement.

* Chief Ikokwu, a member of NBA Lagos Branch, was admitted to the Nigerian Bar in 1962

Odinkalu Calls NBA Election a ‘Racket,’ Raps Mahmoud

Former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Chidi Odinkalu has lampooned the recently concluded Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) National Officers Elections, saying it was a “racket.”

In a statement made available to CITY LAWYER, Odinkalu who is increasingly assuming the role of the ‘Conscience of the Bar,’ also berated NBA President, Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud SAN for the debacle, saying that “the  outgoing Bar leadership is incredibly tarnished by its role in this messy racket.”

Although Mr. Paul Usoro SAN was declared winner of the presidential election by the Prof. Auwalu Yadudu-led Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA), both Chief Arthur Obi Okafor SAN and Prof. Ernest Ojukwu SAN who contested for the NBA Presidency also rejected the results, alleging that the election was marred by rigging among other vices.

The statement reads:

Concerning What AB Mahmoud & the NBA Have Done

Good morning colleagues.

It is unfortunate colleagues failed to heed the clear facts & evidence of a compromised process in #NBADecides2018. The contestants and their supporters mostly behaved desperate, conferring legitimacy on a process that manifestly lacked it from the get go.

Each campaign appeared to behave in such a way as to suggest they were best placed to benefit from a system configured for pre-determined outcomes.

This was not an election. It was not even a selection. It was a racket and a messed up one at that. Now, they will ask the NBA NEC to make this messed up racket their own & ratify it at the pre-conference NEC. That will be interesting.

This racket is a disgrace. The process was compromised and did not even pretend about it. The outcome lacks legitimacy and the declared winner has procured a compromised non-mandate.

Those who hope or expect that there will be an audit should come off that kind of hallucination – you don’t ask a burglar to investigate the burglary.

The outgoing Bar leadership is incredibly tarnished by its role in this messy racket. Yet, we are unlikely to learn. There are no plaudits to hand out, no congratulations to anyone and no one comes out of this a winner.

My name is Chidi Anselm Odinkalu. I am a City-Zen.

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BREAKING: Usoro Wins, Obi Okafor ‘Withdraws’

Mr. Paul Usoro SAN may be declared winner of the hotly contested NBA Elections, even as his closest rival, Chief Arthur Obi Okafor SAN may have withdrawn from the race, citing “surges of votes in favour of Paul Usoro SAN.”

Sources close to the ECNBA Situation Room said Usoro may coast to victory with less than one hundred votes.

Meanwhile, there are strong indications that Mr. Jonathan Taidi has won the post of General Secretary with a wide margin.

The petition by Arthur Obi Okafor Campaign Directorate reads:

20th August 2018
The Chairman
ECNBA
NBA Secretariat
Abuja

Dear Sir

This is to inform you that having reviewed the events leading up to and during the elections Arthur Obi Okafor SAN states categorically that he withdraws from this election and cannot accept the outcome of the result.

Inexplicable and strange surges of votes in favour of Paul Usoro SAN and the glaring incidences of hijacked votes makes it clear the result of this election cannot stand.

An acceptable participatory post election Audit of International standard will bear out our grievances in this regard.

Thank you

O.O.Olowokure Esq
For Arthur Obi Okafor SAN

 

NBA PRESIDENCY: Kanu Agabi Throws Weight Behind Usoro

Nigeria’s former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Chief Kanu Agabi SAN has thrown his weight behind the ambition of Mr. Paul Usoro SAN to lead the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).

Eulogizing the prominent lawyer recently, Agabi said: “Paul Usoro, in spite of your great and numerous achievements you have remained simple and humble. As humble as you are, you give no one cause to take you for granted. Continue Reading

CHAMS Bids for E-voting 31 Days Before ECNBA Inauguration

The scandal rocking the forthcoming Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) National Officers Election has taken another dimension as facts have emerged that CHAMS Plc submitted its bid to provide electronic voting services for the elections at least 31 days before the inauguration of the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA). Continue Reading

The Paul Usoro That I Know

By Onigegewura
The Paul Usoro that I know is not a greenhorn as far as leadership position is concerned. As an undergraduate in then University of Ife, Paul displayed exemplary leadership qualities as the President of the Law Students Society.
When there was allegation of examination leakages in the famous institution, it was Paul Usoro’s petition as the leader of law students that led to the setting up of Adegbola Commission. And of course, Paul was the first witness to testify. If you have not, please go and read the case of Akintemi v. Onwumechile (1985) 1 NWLR [Pt. 1] for the full facts of the incident. By the way, that’s the first volume of Gani Fawehinmi’s Nigeria Weekly Law Report.
Continue Reading