‘Those Seeking Return of CHAMS Desperate,’ Says Ex NBA Scribe
Former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos Branch Secretary and a key supporter of Chief Arthur Obi Okafor SAN, Mr. Adebola Lema has blasted those calling for a return of CHAMS Plc in the troubled verification exercise for the NBA National Officers Elections. Okafor is one of the three presidential candidates in the elections.
In a “public notice” on the clamour by some stakeholders to bring back CHAMS to complete the verification process, the Bar Leader said that those making the calls are “devious and desperate,” warning that it would not be tolerated.
His words: “For those that are leading the campaign in social media insisting or suggesting that we revert back to the insecure verification system developed by Chams Plc, we can only state that we understand their devious and desperate intentions and assure the electorates that these evil machinations will not work.”
Some stakeholders have argued that the verification exercise conducted by CHAMS Plc was seamless and stress-free, even as others punch holes in the cancelled exercise.
Below is the full text of the statement:
There has been a great deal of misinformation being spread about the origin of the inefficiency of the current verification portal.
There have even been agitations that Chams Plc be brought back to conduct a fresh verification exercise by some members of the NBA.
The truth of the matter is that the verification system adopted by Chams Plc had inadequate security protections . It was discovered that the way the system was configured one person could control over 40 lawyer’s votes without those lawyers even knowing. Lawyers who ordinarily would not vote were having their verification details warehoused by unscrupulous supporters of a particular candidate.
Chams Plc’s system also allowed phone numbers of non lawyers to be entered against lawyers’ names as valid delivery addresses for access codes. Example of these abound.
In addition, Chams Plc itself admitted that the verification exercise earlier conducted did not conform with electronic voting best practices for the same organization to administer the verification and voting portal in the same election, this would have been inimical to the conducting of a free and fair election it same had been allowed.
If all these challenges were or are not addressed an untold fraud could have been perpetrated on the electorates which could have led to serious litigation on the part of the contestants.
The new verification service providers have had to learn from those challenges and lessons and at extremely short notice introduce security features that would protect the electorates from monumental fraud perpetuated by unscrupulous and desperate lawyers.
Adding these security features without adequate testing time has come with its own challenges and created enormous inconvenience for the electorates.
We would like the electorate to note that AOOSAN’s supporters will only support a process that is designed to ensure that only genuine and Bona Fide members of the NBA vote in the elections. We will continue to insist (as we have been doing) that every bona fide and willing voter is not disenfranchised and must be allowed to vote no matter how long it takes to conduct the verification exercise or conclude the elections.
For those that are leading the campaign in social media insisting or suggesting that we revert back to the insecure verification system developed by Chams Plc, we can only state that we understand their devious and desperate intentions and assure the electorates that these evil machinations will not work.
We urge our supporters to continue patiently to engage the process, while we work jointly with the ECNBA and other candidates in ensuring that you have a free and fair election with emphasis on one man, one vote.
We understand ECNBA will be releasing a statement anytime today which will be geared towards alleviating the suffering and hardship that our members have been suffering. We understand that a new timetable will be released which will ensure every eligible lawyer is permitted to vote. One man, one vote is the least we expect .
Adebola Olarotimi Lema
Secretary, NBA Lagos 2014-2015
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