In this second instalment of our no-holds-barred interview with estranged Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) ICT Consultant and Chief Executive of Webitscure Technologies and Innovations Ltd., MR. ADAMS MSHELIA MAKARIOS, he tells CITY LAWYER that allegations made against him by NBA President, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau SAN are designed to discredit the NBA Technology Innovation Project of the Olumide Akpata Administration and lay claim to the association’s digital innovations.

The NBA President accused you of fraud in procurement of Fibre to the Business (FTTB) Internet service for NBA Secretariat, saying the IT vendor wrote to indict you. How true is this?

They are all falsely fabricated allegations and concocted lies being peddled to distract members from demanding an independent inquiry on the cyber-attacks on the NBA which facts and events show was planned and carried out by the President’s nephew Solomon Magaji, who is then handed a juicy IT contract to take control of the NBA technology infrastructure that plays a critical role in the Association election process, amidst the conflict of interest and the controversies.

It is also so that members don’t demand an inquiry on who actually sabotaged the 2023 BPF payments and other essential services that adversely affected members of the Association.

It will also interest you to know that I heard about this allegation and others for the first time in April 2023 after I demanded an audit/inquiry into the President’s nephew’s culpability in this cyber-attack and other actions that disrupted the 2023 Bar Practicing Fee. You and anybody else can with this deduce that these allegations were only cooked up against me to cover up these actions.

Do you know that the said letter of indictment the President brandished before NEC members in August 2023 was from their vendor whom they handed the service to? How can a vendor who tends to benefit from a hatchet job not do anything for the bidding of his paymasters? They said I took millions for it. My lawyer challenged them to publish the accounts. Do you think if I really made millions they would not have published it in the NEC bundle? We have demanded for a livestreamed independent inquiry since August; why have they refused? These are germane questions members and stakeholders should ask the president and his nephew.

I am even more embarrassed to speak about this because it is low for the highest office of the NBA to be involved with all these; but the reality is, the president’s nephew Solomon carried out a hatchet job to take over the Secretariat internet service in November 2022 to replace the vendor I had earlier recommended before this administration came into office. With records to show, they handed the service to their vendor.

I have never been presented that letter or anyone before either in November 2022 when Solomon used lies to discredit the vendor I had recommended – who indeed carried out an installation and ran a Proof of Concept for three months before they replaced him with their vendor.

Their vendor received payments again for an installation already completed by the last administration. The invoice and payments from the Association Accounts to their vendor will also reveal same.

When they say my name was on the Proof of Concept, there are cogent reasons; the official emails that led to it are there. The vendor used before provided 10 mbps for over a million naira quarterly, and my attention was drawn to it by the NBA IT staff.

Official emails were exchanged to get a better service and a good price, but they didn’t offer better. That’s why I reached out to several vendors and sought for a proof of concept for three months that met the requirement of the speed I demanded, which was ten times more than the former with a cost far lesser also. There was no foul play from me. I proposed same for the last administration; it was installed and used till November 2022 when Solomon carried out his hatchet job.

A proof of concept is a test or trial, as you can call it. That was why my name was there. The records, receipts, emails are there to confirm same. I even forwarded the records to Solomon in good faith when he pretended he wanted to confirm the service.

This service take-over occurred in November 2022. There was no letter of indictment of fraud or any such sent to me. If I did commit fraud as falsely alleged, the question members should ask the President is: Why did he contract me again in December 2022 to deploy the platform used to collect the 2023 Bar Practicing Fee? Why did he ask me not to leave again in December 2022, claiming he wants me to finish excellently what I had started with his predecessor?

The President was using my professional expertise on different issues. On his request, I developed and delivered the Media Strategy that was used for the National Dialogue in January 2023. I also reviewed the BPF commitment, submitting recommendations which he adopted to increase BPF subscription. These services were not included in my contract, but he requested for it (sic) because he knew my expertise – having consulted for him before he became President of the NBA. So you can see these allegations are being made in bad faith and not for the interest of members as they are made to appear.

The NBA President also alleged that you sabotaged payment of the 2023 Bar Practising Fee. Speak to us about this.

His nephew Solomon Magaji, as facts and events reveal, with the help and aid of his uncle, the President, tried and did everything to sabotage the 2023 Bar Practicing Fee payment process so that they can discredit and defame the novel innovations and achievements of the Digital NBA Project of the last administration and then lay claim that they delivered the NBA Technology Innovation project – which every member of the Association is notably aware was envisioned and established by the Olumide Akpata led administration.

I am not a lawyer but anybody following the trajectory of events can easily spot this. Didn’t you all see the headlines he pushed stating that the Digital NBA project was a fraud? Any lawyer can see through it. With the way Mr. YC Maikyau SAN laid the allegations, he was carefully setting up the foundation one stone at a time. First, he claimed it was me, the IT Consultant he inherited; then he accused the Digital NBA Chair; then he moved to the ECNBA. When members of NEC at the August 2023 Pre-AGC NEC demanded to have an inquiry, didn’t you all see how alarmed the President became? He refused and rejected the notion but pushed for a resolution to support his allegations, though fabricated.

The President says his nephew was there to help him right? The question members should ask him is, are his services for free or pro bono, as learned ones call it? I consulted for the past President of the Association from 2020 to 2022 and my consulting fees were not charged to the Association but to Mr. Olumide Akpata up until the contract for 6 months which was just to enable me follow the project through and hand over to the next Digital NBA Committee. Can the same be said of the President’s nephew?

I can list out notable technology innovation services I undertook and delivered for the NBA without charging or being paid a dime. I assessed the NBA Technology infrastructure in 2020 after Mr. Olumide Akpata won the election; I did it of my own volition and it was adopted. The records are there. I came to serve and not (to) make money. Take a look at my contract; compare the deliverable with my profile and the quality of my expertise and services delivered. You and anybody can easily spot the difference.

I appeal to lawyers to ask serious questions and not let the position of the mic in the NBA silence their excellent minds and drag their honor to the gutters. The President alleged that I was fraudulent with their commonwealth; every member has a right to these issues. Please demand for an independent inquiry; you will be shocked at the revelations.

So if a service provider or “one small boy” sabotages such an essential service as the BPF (payment) in collusion with members of the Association, as the President has claimed, is the President’s nephew who stands to benefit from the sabotage the best person to investigate, accuse, prosecute and aid in the judgement of such persons? I might not be a learned colleague but I have common sense and I know that many out there do, too.

I am certain that, with all of the above before you and anyone, it is very apparent, that these allegations are falsely fabricated and being made to deceive members and the general public to make way for their agenda. Their actions through all that transpired smirks of an agenda. Unfortunately, financially committed members were made to go through avoidable strain and their personal data almost compromised by the cyber-attack (which) facts, evidence show Solomon Magaji planned and carried out on the 31st of March, 2023.

The President deliberately denied our company payments after we processed payments of over 40,000 members without any cogent reason despite having received over 4 demand letters and various physical meetings on the payment issue. While his nephew Solomon was unilaterally changing access codes – firstly for the payment system Flutterwave set up by the last administration – this made resolving payment complaints very difficult. Meanwhile, his uncle was giving members false narrative on different fora just to defame me and the company.

The deliberate refusal to make payments for the contracted service being consumed led to the service glitch on Friday, 10th March, 2023 to Tuesday, 14th March, 2023 till the Secretariat Management Committee led by the General Secretary intervened. We had recorded meetings were they (SMC) agreed to make 35% payments same day. This (promise) was never kept. Irrespective of the action of the President and his nephew to frustrate our efforts and defame us, we kept processing payments up until and after Solomon planned and carried out the cyber-attack on the 31st of March, 2023.

Take a keen look at the events: his uncle, the President approved the part payment of the 35% of the total invoiced sum which we received on the 27th of March, 2023. He then asked us to hand over the platform to his nephew Solomon. I refused, stating that it is not in line with the terms of the contract. Solomon on the 29th of March (2023) posted the Ipv4 DNS details of the NBA official domain which was used to carry out the cyber-attack. The platform is attacked on the 31st of March (2023). Anyone following this closely can see and agree without any doubt that every allegation in its entirety is all a planned hatchet job to promote an agenda.
How true is the allegation that you failed to deliver on the N46m independent server and refused to submit to audit notwithstanding repeated written requests from NBA General Secretary?

If you believe this, then if I tell you that I live in the moon and come to earth every day, you have to believe it.

It is all a lie. Let them please publicly publish the accounts they paid the money to. Members of the NBA should please demand for a live streamed independent inquiry for all the fraud allegations. They will be shocked at what will be uncovered.

We had two recorded meetings with the NBA SMC led by the General Secretary. In all, they refused to discuss the cyber-attack and Solomon’s actions but were insisting my company hand-over the processed clean data.

When I refused to deploy the platform on their server, they suggested we get a temporary server. I have the memo and the invoice; the President instructed Solomon to transfer 1.8 million Naira to my personal account but Solomon sent 1.6 million and kept back N200,000. If out of 1.8 million Naira Solomon kept to himself N200,000 without any reason – which is over 10% – what do you think he will be doing now? The server my company got was dedicated to the NBA project alone. This can be confirmed anywhere in the world by any expert.

Let me tell you the reason Solomon is pushing that narrative: on the day he launched the cyber-attack, I asked him to come on a live video meeting. On that live video, I showed him and others on the call the servers Webitscure owns from the same service provider. He expected to see the one where members’ data are on but I didn’t show him that. He took that naive narrative to his uncle who then began to share it before NEC Members and the world. Just think of it!

Do you know that all the platforms I showed Solomon on the live video meeting all suffered cyber-attacks? This is because he saw the domains and, as such, he knew where to point the attack, too. So it is not just a coincidence; there is so much to it and they know. That is why they having been pushing several fabricated allegations and passing judgement on my person on platforms I don’t have a right or opportunity to reply.

Is there any truth in the allegation that Solomon Magaji received payments for an installation already completed and paid by the Olumide Akpata Administration?

Yes. The installation was done and completed by the vendor engaged during the last administration. The installation had been used for three months for the proof of concept when Solomon claimed the service did not meet his standard. Solomon only replaced it on paper with their own vendor; there are records of it.

I was so shocked to find out that the same equipment and installation was what their vendor continued to use despite Solomon raising an invoice for another installation with the knowledge of the already completed installation by the last administration. This was in November 2022, and the service was handed to their vendor.

Remember the President in his allegations in the August pre-AGC NEC said the network was not dedicated, that the cables were laid from a long distance. I informed my company’s Legal Adviser, Mr. Pere Nduku, when I found out. This led to my second demand to leave despite being owed in December 2022. The text message exchange and letters to the President are available to show as proof.

The President this time was annoyed. I said I wanted to leave again. Some members of his EXCO intervened and I apologized to the President. This is to confirm his statement on the audio; this was before he contracted my company to deploy the platform for the 2023 BPF Collection in December 2022.

I am not surprised this has been twisted to say I was angry because Solomon is taking business from me. I was never contracted to deliver Internet (service) in the first place; it was all as a result of a complaint by the NBA IT Staff which is all covered in official emails I can produce to prove.

  • To be concluded

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