NBA ELECTION: Mahmoud Queries Yadudu

Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud SAN has queried the embattled Chairman of the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA), Prof. Auwalu Yadudu SAN over a trending article on the NBA election, CITY LAWYER can authoritatively report.

Titled “NBA Elections: 8 things you don’t know about CHAMS Plc” and written by one Alozie Ugomma, the article was widely publicized on social media last Wednesday.

Aside from listing CHAMS Plc’s landmark achievements, the article also stated as follows:

“It will be recalled that on July 18, 2018; Chidi Anslem Odinkalu had written an article on Premium Times with the title – “CHAMSGATE: Understanding NBA’s Latest Election Rigging Scandal”. He was subsequently invited by the NBA President, AB Mahmoud, SAN to attend a stakeholders meeting at the NBA House in Abuja to witness CHAMS presentation, question and or defend his allegations against CHAMS but he lose (sic) the courage to appear or make a statement and like the cowardly hyena, ran away in the presence of lions.

“At the stakeholders meeting, it’s instructive to note that the recommendations by Chams were considered sound, articulate and professional, leading to a unanimous adoption. Chams is a renowned ICT solution organisation; it will be a disservice to the association to lose the experience and professionalism they bring to electioneering using the e-voting system.”

CITY LAWYER gathered that the article caused a lot of disquiet at NBA House, leading Mahmoud to direct Yadudu to investigate the matter.

In a letter to CHAMS Plc dated July 25, 2018, Yadudu wrote:

“Our attention has been drawn to the above publication.

“We are constrained to seek for the following explanations from you:
1) was the publication issued by CHAMS?
2) was the publication authorized by CHAMS?
3) did CHAMS have any connection with the author or the content?
“We are deeply concerned about this publication because it has
(a) made assertions that are unsubstantiated or not factual
(b) made assertions in respect of a candidate in the election which may shatter the confidence that is being built.
“We need your prompt response so as to enable us deal with potential queries that are bound to be raised in regard to the publication.”

In a response delivered the same day, CHAMS wrote:

“Good day Prof.

“The publication was not issued by CHAMS. It was not authorized by CHAMS. We do not have any connection with the author. The content and logo are public information available. It’s also part of our standard proposal.

“We are deeply committed to making the election a huge success. The NBA President’s Press Release and letter from ECNBA had clarified issues.

“We are focusing and avoiding distractions. This can be attested to by our various communications with the Secretariat all day.

“Thanks for the confidence reposed in us.”

Sources told CITY LAWYER that Mahmoud was worried by the report, moreso as he had made strident efforts – especially during the meetings convened to resolve the controversy generated by the cancelled verification exercise – to assure all stakeholders that the election would be free, fair and credible.

He had also told NBA members both at the NBA National Executive Committee (NBA-NEC) meeting in Kano and at the Arewa Lawyers Forum meeting in Kaduna that he was determined to deliver rancour-free and transparent election.

Yadudu has come under fire lately due to the several missteps of the electoral committee. However, an online petition to sack the former Special Adviser on Legal Matters to former Head of State, Late General Sani Abacha garnered only 36 signatories till date.

The NBA election is slated for July 30 and 31, 2018. The battle for the coveted presidency of the association is a fierce tripodal race between Chief Arthur Obi Okafor SAN, Prof. Ernest Ojukwu SAN and Mr. Paul Usoro SAN.

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