A major twist has been added to the forthcoming Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Elections as a petitioner has asked the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) to disqualify one of the leading aspirants, Mazi Afam Osigwe SAN.

Documents obtained by CITY LAWYER show that the petition was dated 25th April, 2024 and received the same day by electoral committee.

CITY LAWYER gathered from an unimpeachable source that a similar petition was filed by the same petitioner on April 17, 2024 but may have been hobbled by the issue of locus standi, leading the petitioner to procure a solicitor to write the petition.

Endorsed by Mr. Uche Amulu, an Abuja based lawyer, the petitioner, Messrs Vision Kam Jay Investment Limited, stated that “the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) is invited to disqualify Mazi Afam Osigwe SAN from holding any public office within the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), the Body of Benchers, and the entire legal profession, and to ensure that the sanctity of the law is not desecrated, and a situation of fait accompli not foisted on the decision/sanctions of the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) and the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) in above referred pending petition.”

The petitioner stated that the petition was brought “as per the imperativeness of disqualifying Mazi Afam Osigwe SAN from contesting the forthcoming Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Presidency or holding any public office within the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA),” saying this was “by the reason of his gross professional misconduct.”

According to the petitioner, “The disqualification of Mazi Afam Osigwe SAN is crystallizes (sic) by the fact that the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in ruling delivered on the 15th day of July, 2023 by Hon. Justice O. C. Agbaza indicted Mazi Afam Osigwe SAN of abusing court processes.”

The petitioner stated that it had petitioned both the LPPC and LPDC on the alleged misconduct of the Bar Leader, saying: “Our client has always followed up on her petition, from where she discovered that the above petition was assigned a committee member for initial finding since July 2022. The said committee member after due process submitted his report/initial finding’s (sic) sometimes in February 2024.”

It stated that the report/initial findings of the committee found the presidential aspirant to “have a case to answer” and proceeded to serve him the said petition accordingly.

“Thus, it is significant to note that Mazi Afam Osigwe, SAN has filed respondent’s affidavit disclosing a defence to the originating applications at both the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) and Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC.”

The petitioner also stated that the LPPC “has fully commenced investigation into the matter at the Supreme Court complex Abuja on the 28th – 30th day of December, 2023 among other cases, and thereafter adjourned to a date to be communicated to both parties.”

According to the petitioner, its grouse arose from rulings delivered by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory on July 11, 2020 and December 1, 2020 in Suit No. FCT/HC/FJ/26/2019 “whereby a Garnishee Order Nisi was granted and made Absolute respectively,” adding that Osigwe is not “fit and proper” to hold the position of the President of the Nigerian Bar Association or any public office within the Nigerian Bar Association.

It was unclear at press time whether the ECNBA has sought Osigwe’s response to the petition.

CITY LAWYER had in an exclusive report noted how two petitions were originally slammed on embattled NBA Treasurer Caroline Ladidi Anze-Bishop by Mr. Samuel Ogala and Mr. Musa Tijjani.

While Ogala withdrew his petition, saying the matter had become subjudice, the ECNBA held a hearing on Musa’s petition where both parties confronted each other.

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