Controversies have recently trailed Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) information technology contracts and infrastructure. While NBA President, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau SAN was accused of allegedly handing the infrastructure to his nephew, the senior lawyer had fired back, alleging that it was estranged NBA ICT Consultant and Chief Executive of Webitscure Technologies and Innovations Ltd., MR. ADAMS MSHELIA MAKARIOS who engaged in sundry infractions and fraud. In this first of a three-part, no-holds-barred interview, Makarios told CITY LAWYER that Maikyau compensated his nephew with a contract after he allegedly attacked and disrupted NBA Bar Practising Fee payment portal

Tell us about yourself?
I am Adams Mshelia-Makarios, a patriotic Nigerian from Borno State. By the Grace of God, I am a software architect, a cyber security professional, and an Information Technology & Innovation consultant with over 40 internationally recognized professional certifications, with publicly published cyber security reports, reviews and recommendations.

I have over a decade active experience in delivering innovative technology services, having provided innovative technology solutions for different fields of endeavor i.e. health, banking, education, media, legal, government etc. I am also a media consultant and public relations expert who has successfully provided media strategy consulting for political aspirants, corporate organizations and institutions.

For this interview in particular, it is important I mention that, by God’s Grace, I have provided internet media campaign strategy & consulting services for the successful election into office of two Nigerian Bar Association Presidents, firstly for Mr. Olumide Akpata in 2020 and Mr. Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau SAN in 2022.

Aside from NBA, do you have experience of working with other organizations?
Yes. I have worked with a number of corporate organizations. This can be found on my LinkedIn profile https://www.linkedin.com/in/tamakarios.

You have been accused by NBA President, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau SAN of some infractions. How do you respond?
I have not made any statement on these allegations because firstly, they are all falsely fabricated and craftily woven to deceive members of the NBA and the public. Also, they are used to set the foundation for an agenda which is obvious to all now.

I have great honour and respect for the Association, persons and the highest office which I had consulted for since 2020, with a public commendation and applause at the 2022 Annual General Meeting for my notable contributions to the Association’s Digital Project and its technology innovation agenda.

So if these allegations were true, do you suppose the President, Mr. YC Maikyau SAN would vehemently refuse and reject calls for a live streamed independent inquiry devoid of his influence? Do you also think the President will continually make these allegations with his nephew Solomon Magaji – who tends to gain financially from the NBA – as his principal investigator and prosecutor on platforms they know we cannot reply? Please, with all due respect, you are a lawyer; don’t let people play on your intelligence because they hold a microphone.

Tell us briefly about your IT contract with NBA and whether the contract is subsisting?
The Contract was for “Technology Innovations and Work Process Automation.” It was timed to be for 6 months, with an option for renewal entered into at the end of the last administration to ensure a smooth hand-over to the next Digital NBA Committee.

The second contract was done by the present President, Mr. Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau SAN. It was to deploy the platform my company designed, developed and implemented. The platform was also used for the collection of the 2023 Bar Practicing Fee and processing of members’ data, but has been understudied and presently, has been plagiarized by Solomon Magaji in the claimed launch of a new website and application.

And, Yes. I can – by the terms and requirement of the contracts – say that both are still subsisting because services were (as documents and events prove) delivered. Some services are still being used till date while payments in line with the terms of the contract is being denied by the present President for obscure reasons or to pursue an agenda which is obvious to many. Every allegation against me is entirely falsely fabricated to deceive and used as a cover for this agenda.

You alleged that the NBA IT Consultant Solomon Magaji carried out a cyber attack on the NBA IT infrastructure on 31st March, 2023. What was the nature of this attack? Do you have any evidence to back up the allegation?
I didn’t just allege, as its being said, to deceive members, but facts, events and credible evidence convincingly will show you and all that the President’s nephew, Solomon Magaji carried out a cyber attack against the NBA with the knowledge of his uncle, the President of the NBA.

Professor Chidi Odinkalu closely looked at these facts and the contract before he resigned from the Electoral Commission of the NBA. Remember he stated in his resignation letter that these cogent issues could affect an elections credibility. Do you suppose the learned professor will go to such extent at the expense of his reputation if these were just mere claims as the President put it?

You can see the efforts that have been exerted in discussing me, a ‘small boy’ who is not a lawyer, on different very important platforms. The President of the NBA spoke passionately about me in a NEC Meeting for almost an hour; and I was also a major topic at the AGM, leaving aside more important issues. Do you think the NBA President will go through such hassle if his nephew Solomon Magaji was really innocent of the cyber attack and sabotage of the 2023 BPF Process? You are a lawyer. Please look closely, as I explain the cyber attack in detail.

The attack – as the forensic report showed – was a Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDOS) carried out through the official domain of the Nigerian Bar Association https://nigerianbar.org.ng with a start time stamp of 1:38 pm.

Solomon Magaji sent out a notice at 1:39 pm on a WhatsApp platform which has the General Secretary, the National Treasurer and other EXCOs, one minute after he initiated the cyber-attack. In Solomon’s notice, he dubiously claimed that our company’s servers were down because he knew the intent of the cyber-attack he had planned and initiated. Solomon had earlier sent out The same false alarm at about 10 am in the morning of March 31st (2023). This is clearly when he started the setup for the attack before he launched the full attack at 1:38 pm.

I responded immediately he sent the notice, asking him to come on a live video call so I can show him our servers were running healthy. Solomon did not respond for over 30 minutes, until I drew the attention of the General Secretary who queried why Solomon was unresponsive after raising such an alarm on the last day of Bar Practicing Fee (payment) – before Solomon then joined the live call. On the live video, I asked Wole (Efuwape), the NBA IT staff, to check the domain client – because my company no longer had access to it, as Solomon had unilaterally changed the access codes without any notice to us.

Wole checked it, and we had a staff from the domain company come on the call and confirm to all that they were not experiencing any downtime, and that I should check our servers. I showed them on the live call – and also showed them another domain pointed to the BPF platform which was live – thereby quashing the claim that the downtime experienced by the NBA Official domain was from our servers as Solomon had falsely claimed; rather, it was a cyber-attack he planned and carried out to disrupt the BPF process and blame it on our company’s servers to damage our repute and take over the service – which is what is playing out today.

The intent of the attack – as events and forensic report reveal – was to damage our servers and disrupt the payment of the 2023 Bar Practicing (Fee payment) of lawyers on the BPF Portal, then hijack the database which contains members’ personal data. This attack was used as a front to defame and illegally frame Webitscure for disrupting the 2023 BPF process, then deny it due payments and terminate its contract with the Association, refusing it fair hearing in an inquiry – which all can see is happening now.

This cyber-attack was carried out after various attempts by the President to make me and the company hand-over the platform to his nephew, Solomon Magaji, without payments as required in the contract; but I refused, insisting they abide by the terms of the contract.

It is very evident the plan to carry out a cyber-attack started with the unilateral change of the access codes of the NBA official domain https://nigerianbar.org.ng which was attacked and also the change of the payment processor “Flutterwave” Admin by Solomon Magaji a few weeks before the attack. Then his uncle (Maikyau) awarded him the IT contract as a reward for a job well executed.

This breach by Solomon was formally reported by me to the President on the 18th day of March, 2023 in a mail copying the President, General Secretary, Assistant General Secretary and the NBA IT Staff. This was met without any response.

This action of Solomon was followed by a demand by his uncle, the President, on the 27th March, 2023 to me, demanding I hand-over the source code of the payment portal and all access codes to Solomon Magaji, which I refused, stating it is against standard procedure and the contract terms.

Then on the 29th day of March, 2023 on a WhatsApp group “IT Engagement” set up by the General Secretary on the instructions of Mr. President, yet again the hand over of the source codes to Solomon were demanded. Solomon Magaji posted on this group, the ipv4 DNS Details of the NBA Official domain https://nigerianbar.org.ng, which is the primary detail used in the set-up of such attacks “Distributed Denial of Service Attack”. This showed that Solomon had in his possession every detail of the Association’s official domain which he had earlier unilaterally changed the password. In simple terms: the details Solomon posted shows the connection source of the NBA Official Domain, which is what he used to set up the cyber-attack in order to damage our servers.

It will interest you to know that the General Secretary sent out a notice on the 31st of March, 2023 during the cyber-attack, with instructions to members to continue BPF payments on a different domain https://nigerian-bar.com other than the NBA Official domain https://nigerianbar.org.ng which was affected by the planned cyber-attack. Here is a short link to the notice sent out by the General Secretary during the cyber-attack https://t.ly/Ov5Rb. The details of the attack showed the time-stamp (when) it started, the action our defenses took, and the time the official domain https://nigerianbar.org.ng attacked will be back online.

The evidence on Solomon Magaji’s culpability in the March 31st cyber-attack that disrupted the BPF Payment process -disenfranchising (sic) many members – became very concrete when at about 2:38 pm on the 1st of April, 2023 (which is exactly 24 hours after he launched the attack), Solomon Magaji again sent another notice on the same WhatsApp platform stating that the official NBA domain was restored and running. This completely caught him in the web, because he doesn’t have access to our servers or the firewall we set up. The only reason he had such information with close timing is because he planned the cyber-attack. This is backed with his actions before the attack. He then asked me to point our servers back to the official NBA domain and remove the one https://nigerian-bar.com which the General Secretary had sent out in the notice. I challenged him on the platform to send me his request in an email, that I have very credible reasons to believe he carried out an attack on the NBA Payment Platform. Solomon never sent the email; and this marked the beginning of all the false allegations by him and his uncle, the President against me.

We also have Solomon Magaji on video making these several conflicting statements while trying to cover up his tracks during the cyber-attack on the 31st of March, 2023. Find the March 31st Cyber attack report here (NBA IT Breach Letter to the President).

Was the contract renewed? If yes, on what terms?
No, it was not. As you can see from the contract, most of the services engaged have been consumed. Others are still being used till tomorrow, though they chose to live in denial of this; but it can be proved.

Contrary to the claim of the President of inheriting me from his predecessor, I didn’t want to continue with the contract entered into at the end of the last administration in 2022 – and I informed the President in September 2022 through his nephew, Solomon Magaji. The President wouldn’t hear of it and said to me that ‘I want to make him look bad before members of the Association and that I should complete what I had started with the last administration.’ This was why I stayed back, not knowing he had a plan he had set to use his nephew Solomon to execute.

The president also confirmed this in his widely circulated audio from the August 2023 NEC Meeting. As at that time in September 2022 when I wanted to leave even after delivering services, I had not received any money for my consulting services for the Association.

Before the Technology Innovation contract in 2022, I had been consulting privately as Mr. Olumide Akpata’s IT Consultant since 2020 and all my consulting fees were charged to and paid by him. I had not charged or received any consulting fees from the NBA from 2020 till 2022 when his tenure elapsed. He paid my consulting fees.

Again to confirm the President’s statement in the audio, I was paid by the Association for the first time in October 2022, while being owed for logistic cost covered since he assumed office in August 2022. The President Mr. Y C Maikyau SAN said severally that he wanted me to stay back and work with him after he assumed office. He also mentioned this in the audio. This is as I have before he became president consulted for him, as I earlier did mention.

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