More aspirants have been disqualified by the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) in the run-up to the 2022 NBA National Officers and General Council of the Bar (GCB) Elections.

While there is palpable anxiety within the ranks of the aspirants as most of them are yet to be communicated by the electoral committee on their fate, CITY LAWYER gathered that the ranks of aspirants who have come under the ECNBA hammer has swelled.

Meanwhile, CITY LAWYER can authoritatively confirm that at least one aspirant for the position of NBA First Vice President, three aspirants for the post of NBA Second Vice President and one aspirant for the post of NBA Third Vice President have been barred by the Electoral Committee from contesting the forthcoming elections.

Aside from NBA First Vice President aspirant, Mr. Muhammad Idris Doko who was slammed because “your Seconder being a member of a political party in Nigeria is not qualified like you in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution,” outgoing NBA Ukwa Branch Chairman, Sir. Samuel Nwosu was disqualified from the NBA Second Vice President race because as regards the mode of reckoning post call years, “your Nominator is less than the requisite 15 years post-call. Similarly, there is no evidence that your Seconder paid her Branch Dues for year 2020 and 2022.”

His counterpart in the NBA Second Vice President race, Mr. Anthony Chukwurah came under the ECNBA hammer because “your Nominator is not from the Eastern Zone, he is not qualified like you in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Constitution.”

Another aspirant for the same position, Mr. Finian Ndukwu also fell by the way side. Giving reasons for his disqualification, the electoral committee told Ndukwu that “having failed and/or omitted to complete your nomination form and supply requisite answers for determining your eligibility to contest in the Election, your nomination form is accordingly rejected. Consequently, you are hereby DISQUALIFIED from contesting for the office of 2nd Vice-President in the Election.”

Mr. Promise Besinginwayemi Awolowo Ademi-Akpeto, an aspirant for the position of NBA Third Vice President, suffered a similar fate when the Electoral Committee noted that the Seconder for his nomination “is less than 15 years post-call as required” in view of the above constitutional provisions and particularly the mode of reckoning post call years.

Meanwhile, Ndukwu has activated the appeal process. In an appeal made available to CITY LAWYER and addressed to the Chairperson of the Chairperson of NBA 2022 National Election Appeal Committee, he wrote: “I herein attached the said unfiled pages 4,5 and 6 of my nomination form and pages 10-12 including pages 16-78 of my nominator and that of my seconder, as 2nd Vice President for your perusal and reconsideration in this
appeal for the following grounds….”

Outlining the grounds of his appeal, he wrote: “1. That I completed the up part of page 4 of the said form and never filed the remaining part of page 4,5 & 6 because it was clear and stated that it should be filed by candidate for the position of President, 1st Vice President and General Secretary only.

“2. That in respect to pages 10-12 of the said form, it was not also filed by my nominator because it was clear as it is strictly stated for it to be filed by the Nominator of Candidate for the position of President, 1st Vice President and General Secretary only including Nominator of candidates for the position of Treasurer only in the case of page 12 of the my form.”

In a veiled lampooning of the Electoral Committee, Ndukwu argued “that ECNBA in this information age ought to have given fair hearing by giving me time and notice to supply the said information to the above said pages either by invitation, E-mail, whatsapp or Phone call which is available to them and that of my Nominator, and seconder before disqualifying me.

“I therefore most humbly urge the Appeal Committee to reconsider my nomination in the interest of justice as my nomination form was not rejected but accepted with acknowledgement on the 16th of April, 2022 by the ECNBA at the time of submission.”

Meanwhile, almost all the aspirants told CITY LAWYER that the ECNBA is yet to communicate to them on the outcome of the screening process.

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