In this final instalment of our three-part interview, estranged Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) ICT Consultant and Chief Executive of Webitscure Technologies and Innovations Ltd., MR. ADAMS MSHELIA MAKARIOS told CITY LAWYER that the cyber-attack on NBA website led to members’ data breach, adding that this may pose a risk to the forthcoming NBA National Officers Elections

The NBA President alleged that the “NBA App” project was a “fraud.” Tell us the level of your company’s involvement in the project.
Remember, at the time the President made these bile accusations, members were already asking serious questions – most especially as to the reasons stated by Professor Chidi Odinkalu for his resignation from the ECNBA. Also, it had become public knowledge that the President, amidst the controversies of the cyber-attack and sabotage of the 2023 BPF process, awarded and paid his nephew for the same subsisting IT Contract.

This statement, as you can see, was made to deceive and cast aspersion on reputable persons and on a notable achievement of the last administration.
It is very obvious to all that the President made that statement to make his case and in his defence; but the question many stakeholders still ask is, if there was a fraud as the President so claims, are the actions of his nephew and his award of the subsisting IT contract to him the best cause of action to take? If the President says the NBA App Project was a fraud, what is he trying to imply in general? Also, should the demands for an inquiry to show where the fraud is actually situated be rejected?

Do you know that facts in documents, video records of reviews, design flow will convincingly show anyone that the NBA Digital App and the acclaimed new website is a plagiarized copy of most part of what was launched in the 2022 AGC by the last administration? My legal adviser will, as he said in his letter, begin to publish publicly these details – as these lies, deceit and false allegations have gone too far.

The Digital NBA App project in clear detail was never a fraud; the details were in its entirety available to the President. The service provider (who was) paid N27 million did not meet the required milestone and had only come up with one phase of the project – which is the Digital ID. This was what was on the App resource deployed on the App stores before the deadline set for the launch at the 2022 AGC.

Due to the delay to meet the required milestone for launch, an alternative already in the works that will meet these requirements was considered to ensure the project delivery. This alternative – developed by Webitscure – was used for the successful launch at the 2022 AGC, with uniquely designed details and processes which have been understudied, copied and given another name today.

Do recall that the Olumide Akpata led administration had collaborated with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to take out the Digital ID of members from third parties, thereby greatly improving security and control as can be found on the news here. As such, there was a need to review the service provider’s contract – as can be found on my subsisting contract with the Association. This review, as you and anyone can see, is to be carried out to give the association valued services for the moneys paid to the service provider.

It is the same Digital NBA App web version developed by Webitscure that was deployed and used for the 2023 Bar Practicing Fee. It is very evident that it was intentionally sabotaged, with different twisted narratives and allegations thrown at everybody to set the foundation for this agenda to award it to the President’s nephew and relaunch it as a new App and achievement. Members should ask germane questions that require answers as to, where is the fraud actually situated?

It is much to be wondered that the launch of a project already delivered by the past administration is what is being brandished and pushed again before members as a new achievement a year after with very funny and amusing headlines. This exactly is the summary of what is happening now – and many members and the world are seeing right through this agenda. Also recall that the President did accuse his executives of fraud, the ECNBA and my humble self.

Senior members of his executives responded, and the world remains shocked at their revelations. Some challenged him, exposing very gory details and demanded an audit. He then changed tunes without providing any evidence or allowing the audit they demanded; rather he claimed it was all a family matter, pursuing a reconciliation. What does that tell you as a lawyer?

“We are well aware of plans to use it to lay false allegations of members’ data leak on me and my company. This will be in futility because, as reported, the planned cyber-attack exposed some members’ data – which we have formally reported.”

Tell us the level of your company’s involvement in the project.
My company Webitscure worked on the NBA partnership with the National Identity Management Commission – which was part of the foundational build-up for the digital identity. I personally supervised the process for the NIMC license and came up with the algorithm for the Digital ID.

The need to develop a unique software framework with a unique architecture for the Association was recommended by my company in 2020 after the assessment, as can be found here. My company Webitscure designed and developed the alternative used for the launch at the 2022 AGC, which was also used for the collection of the 2023 Bar Practicing Fee and for the processing of members’ data. As events have revealed now, it was intentionally sabotaged, surreptitiously understudied, exploited and replicated today.

To what extent is your company involved in the alleged attempt to switch the payment on NBA App from the NBA Administrator to a non-NBA recipient?
As my lawyer has expressly stated in his open letter to the President, my company was not involved in the payment processor switch; and it did not in any way affect the Association’s payments process because at that time Flutterwave was the processor being used. It is obvious the President blew the matter out of proportion to properly lay the foundation for his agenda.

It is quite unfortunate that, to defend his nephew, he had to throw reputed members of the Association who had served with honor under the bus. Why do you think he brought it up in August, almost a year after it occurred and was addressed in 2022? And why was it after the issue of the cyber-attack, the sabotage of the BPF payment and the conflict of interest had become public?

He used the payment switch that happened a year ago to try and hound the Digital NBA Committee chair of the last administration. You can see that he used it to tie a knot, claiming that he had been facing a gang up. This was done to stir up emotions, defame the Digital NBA Project of the last administration, and make room for them to launch the replicated version in their name.

The Legal Adviser to your company claimed that the NBA President threatened you and your company in your bid to expose the alleged IT breach by his nephew. How true is this?
Yes, the President said to me that he will do worse to me when I demanded an inquiry into the cyber-attacks and other actions of his nephew Solomon Magaji. My lawyer also stated this in the two letters he wrote to the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Association.

My family has been alarmed since then, as the President has taken steps which shows he intends to carry out his threats; and we cannot ascertain to what extent he intends to go on, with his threats to my life and my livelihood. He has already continued to use false allegations against me on different fora, exposing me to further danger.

I want to use this (medium) to state publicly again to the whole world that the NBA President Mr. YC Maikyau SAN has threatened to do worse to me because I demanded for an inquiry into the cyber-attacks carried out against the NBA and my company. I also want to state to the members of the NBA and the world that any allegation being cooked up now or later is to cover up the cyber-attacks, sabotage of the 2023 BPF done to justify the unjust refusal to pay for services contracted and consumed. It is also to ensure that we don’t get justice for our intellectual property being exploited.

I do hereby appeal again to members of the Association to stand for truth and demand an independent live-streamed inquiry into the cyber-attacks and the sabotage of the 2023 Bar Practicing fee process.

Do you intend to pursue this matter and seek redress?
Yes. You know, the way these events were craftily woven, it was meant to set me and my company against the Association; but you see that those plans have been exposed and as such, members and stakeholders now know that they were only being used as a cover to pursue a personal agenda way against their collective interest.

My lawyers are separating the issues. Remember that Solomon carried out these actions in his exalted office as the nephew of the President of the NBA (if such office does exist) before he was then awarded the contract to be the NBA IT Consultant. So, as you can see, the issues are well defined and separate.

God whose throne is righteousness and just is putting all things together; he has brought us this far, he will lead us. He has already sent help our way. There is so much with us with which justice will be seen to be justly served.

What is the state of NBA IT infrastructure today? Is it safe, secure and world class?
I cannot speak on it. All I can say is, the competence and integrity of the guardsmen at the city gate determines the safety of those within the city. Our bible says, if the foundation be destroyed, what can the righteous do? Looking at the pathway taken to get this acclaimed new website and app, what do you or anyone with these facts suppose?

Talk to us about the allegation that the current state of NBA IT infrastructure is unreliable and liable to manipulation vis-a-vis the 2024 NBA Elections.
I believe this question is hinged on Professor Chidi Odinkalu’s reasons for his resignation from the ECNBA. I think it is best for those who care to look closely at it and these other events.

As stated by the learned Professor, the processed clean data used for the elections comes from the NBA IT which is presently under the control of the President’s nephew, Solomon Magaji. If such desperate actions like a cyber-attack is planned and carried out just to defame persons and lay claims, and every demand for an independent inquiry is refused and rejected with false allegations being made to cover up and distract, what more can you or any member of the NBA imagine?

As you aware, I was consulted to carry out an assessment of the NBA Technology Infrastructure in 2020 and put forward recommendations that will ensure a credible electronic election process. My report and recommendations were publicly published. You can find it here.

I also developed the encryption process used to secure members’ data in 2022 – which was also applied in the 2023 members’ data processed by the company and which was sent via mail to the NBA IT and other stakeholders in encrypted format; they have refused to acknowledge it till date. We are well aware of plans to use it to lay false allegations of members’ data leak on me and my company. This will be in futility because, as reported, the planned cyber-attack exposed some members’ data – which we have formally reported.

Do you see a live-streamed independent audit as you have requested happening?
It’s not in my place to say, seeing that the President has refused to agree to it since April 2023 after the cyber-attack was reported. I also know that the matter is not only between us; many stakeholders are involved because of the blanket of fraud allegations. As such, it can no longer be done in secret or to terms that suggest a bias; it has to be seen to be truly independent and without his influence, as it is obvious he is a party in the matter.

I am not a prophet of doom but I don’t think these false allegations will stop despite the embarrassment caused the noble Association, mostly because as we can all see, it is being made to promote a personal agenda. It will only stop when members demand to have an independent inquiry into all these allegations.

I also don’t believe it has set a dangerous precedent because I see it as a seed which those who have sown it will definitely get a harvest, as the records will expose whatever is hidden. We all know that by this time next year, another administration will be at the helm of affairs. Perhaps all this drama will guide members to decide better.

Are your allegations a mere smokescreen to get back at the NBA President for relieving you of the lucrative NBA contract?
Kindly look closely at the issues with a clear conscience. You will easily spot where the smokescreen is and also request for, compare my contract with the President’s nephew. Only then can you tell who does have a lucrative contract.

I appeal to members of the Association to look through these issues keenly with a good conscience, knowing that I and my company Webitscure Technologies & Innovations Limited have committed our resources to better the Association’s technology processes. With proven records to show, we stand in the knowledge that the attempts to turn us against the Association are for personal gains and in no way for the collective interest of all, as it is being falsely and craftily portrayed. As such, I appeal to members to resist the attempts by the present President and his nephew to use the Association to pursue their personal agenda and vendetta against the ethos of the NBA which is to protect human rights and promote the rule of law.

  • Click here for parts one and two of the interview

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