The embattled Treasurer of the Nigerian Bar Association, Caroline Anze-Bishop has called for an “independent audit” of the association’s finances in order to determine its true status.

In a statement she personally signed and made available to CITY LAWYER, the NBA National Officer debunked several accusations made against her by NBA President, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau SAN during the recent NBA Annual General Meeting , saying: “I equally demand for an independent audit of our Financial Books to ascertain or debunk Mr. Presidents allegation of Financial Fraud against all National Officers and the tarnishing implication that we are Crooks. I believe our true BPF and general financial position will be revealed and all Crooks apprehended. I am not a thief and I daresay an immediate audit of our Account will corroborate my claim and certify me clean, so I strongly demand for an immediate Audit thereof.”

Saying that the anti-graft agencies may soon swoop on the association, Anze-Bishop wrote: “May I also State that when Mr. President single handedly undertook to receive an anonymous donation of undisclosed sums in US Dollars and further undertook its conversion at an undisclosed rate to Fifty million Naira N50M, then unilaterally appropriated ten million naira (N10M) to himself, and also single handedly deposited or attempted to deposit the alleged balance of forty million naira N40m in our Account and so on and forth; in clear contradiction of Section 9 (5) (a) and of the Treasurer’s primary Mandate, he simply confirmed the fact that he’s been acting as the Treasurer of the Bar, and doing my job at will with impunity.”

She denied the claim by Maikyau that the National Officers resolved to share the balance of N40 Million received from Kebbi State Government, saying: “I know for a fact that there was never ever a meeting of National Officers where a resolution to share any monies (or the said N40 million as falsely alleged by Mr. President) was ever reached. The open public rebuttal of the Assistant General Secretary (who takes down the minutes of meeting) squarely amplifies this truth.”

She debunked the claim that Maikyau funds his personal aides, saying: “You will easily find in the NBA Staff salary schedule of the Association that Mr. President retains not less than 3 Aides on the payroll of our Association at the moment, contrary to his publicized claim on the floor of the AGM that he personally pays ALL his aides from his personal purse.”

Similarly, she denied the charge that the National Officers were only gunning for the association’s Bar Practising Fee, saying: “Mr. President alleged that National Officers are fighting him because he refused to share the BPF with us. May I state here that this is totally false and mischievously toned to distract members from focusing on his Alpha Male style of Leadership exposed.”

The embattled Treasurer also denied lobbying for foreign visits, adding: “Mr. President has on these very critical issues played the Victim, The Prosecutor, Judge and Executioner: I hereby challenge Mr. President to bring forward his evidence in support of this weighty allegation made before the whole world against us as it ridicules and cast aspersion on our integrity as Constitutionally Elected Officers of the NBA and the Nigerian Bar Association at large.”

Continuing, Anze-Bishop wrote: “With due respect, I request Mr. President to cease and desist from inveighing me in his blanket denigration of National Officers, and to right away retract these false statements and issue a public apology against my Person and all distinguished National Officers of the Bar.”

Querying whether she is “expected to vet Financial Memos and recommend them in absentia” due to Maikyau’s cost concerns, the embattled Treasurer demanded an Extra-Ordinary General Meeting to resolve her petition to the AGM, saying: “I hereby call for the convening of an Extraordinary General Meeting (Egm) Pursuant To Section 10(4) & (7) Of The Nba Constitution, 2015 (As Amended) (since the inconclusive AGM was adjourned sine die) so that we reach a logical conclusion of the meeting and issues abandoned on the Agenda of that day.”

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