Leading human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana SAN’s chambers has written to the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) to query the candidacy of incumbent NBA Treasurer, Caroline Anze-Bishop in the forthcoming NBA National Elections.

Documents obtained by CITY LAWYER show that the committee has summoned Anze-Bishop to attend a meeting at ECNBA Secretariat on Thursday to defend the petition.

There are strong indications that the fiery NBA National Officer is gunning for the influential position of NBA General Secretary in the elections scheduled to hold in July.

The ECNBA informed Anze-Bishop that “We have received a petition, now attached to this letter, against your candidacy. In accordance with our procedures, we are inviting you to address the allegations contained in the petition before the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA).”

Continuing, the committee wrote: “We therefore kindly request your presence to a meeting with the ECNBA, where you will have the opportunity to address the petition and provide any necessary clarifications. The meeting will hold on Thursday 25th April 2024 at 2:30pm at the ECNBA Secretariat.”

Dated 22nd April, 2024 the letter was signed by ECNBA Chairman, Mr. Oluseun Abimbola SAN and Secretary, Huwaila Muhammad Ibrahim.

Meanwhile, the petition by Falana and Falana Chambers was signed by one Samuel Ogala who stated that he is a member of NBA Abuja Branch and in good standing with the Association, having been paying my Bar practising fees and dues as and when due, since my call to the Bar in 2005.”

Citing Section 9(3)(b) of the NBA Constitution, he stated that one of the requirements for aspirants to the post of NBA General Secretary is that they must be in full-time private practice.

His words: “Therefore, I write this petition to bring to your attention that a prospective candidate for the office of the General Secretary in the forthcoming NBA Elections by name CAROLINE LADIDI ANZE-BISHOP is not in full time practice, contrary to the requirement of the NBA Constitution,”

Continuing, he wrote: “She is an officer of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC). Presently, she is serving in the Plateau State Command of the Corp. This is a fact known to so many lawyers., both within Plateau State and beyond.”

He stated that he wrote to the corps to provide information on Anze-Bishop “wherein it was confirmed that the NSCDC holds the information requested regarding CAROLINE LADIDI ANZE-BISHOP.”

Ogala however stated that “the more specific information required were withheld, as they fall under the exemption provided by Section 14(1)(b) of the Act, since there (sic) were more of personal information which would require the consent or approval of the subject individual before their divulging.”

He stated that the NSCDC letter “has confirmed that CAROLINE LADIDI ANZE-BISHOP is a staff of the NSCDC, given that they have the required information but cannot release them for the reasons stated.”

The senior lawyer concluded that “In light of all the above facts, I strongly believe that CAROLINE LADIDI ANZE-BISHOP is not qualified to aspire to contest for the office of the General Secretary of the NBA, since she is not in full time private legal practice, which is clearly against the spirit and letters of the NBA Constitution.”

It is recalled that CITY LAWYER had last November in its special report on the forthcoming elections predicted that the fiery aspirant who sensationally disowned the NBA Annual Report and Accounts at the 2023 NBA Annual General Conference may be dogged by the issue of whether she is in full-time private practice.

Tagged as “A BISHOP’S HURDLE,” the report read: “An NBA political watcher told CITY LAWYER that Anze-Bishop may have to surmount the hurdle of allegedly being a staff on the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).”

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