There are strong indications that a leading aspirant to the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Elections, Mr. Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau SAN may have his hands full responding to the gale of petitions against his candidacy as yet another petition has been brought against him by an Abuja based lawyer, Mr. Tochukwu Ohazuruike.

It is recalled that Ohazuruike had earlier brought an petition against Maikyau alleging that the senior lawyer “is not constitutionally qualified to contest for the office of President in the forthcoming 2022 NBA National Officers’ election due to his failure to meet the eligibility criteria of not less than two years membership of NEC at the time of nomination mandatorily required under section 9(3)(c)(i) of the NBA Constitution.” The petition was dated 6th May, 2022 and received by the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) on Monday, 9th May, 2022. Ohazuruike later delivered an addendum to the earlier petition where he alleged that Maikyau “did not attend any of the 9 NEC meetings for the period 2018 to 2020.”

In the latest petition, the lawyer stated that he has been a member of the Unity Bar “and I know that Y. C. Maikyau, SAN has never formally been a member of the Unity Bar at any time whatsoever.” Continuing, he stated that “The authentic register and records of the branch will reveal this without difficulty,” adding that “The first and last time he was seen at the Abuja Branch meeting was on 1st April, 2022 when his friends hosted the monthly in his honour.”

Arguing that his petition was based on the eligibility requirement set out in Section 9(3)(a) of the NBA Constitution, Ohazuruike stated that “This branch membership requirement for qualification as full member of NBA, as set out above, has not been met by Yakubu C. Maikyau, SAN as he has indicated in his nomination form a branch – Unity Bar – which he does not belong to. No doubt, mere participation in activities of a branch (if any) or clearance or letter of good standing from a branch Chairman/EXCO does not translate to formal membership of a branch for purposes of qualification to contest for the office of NBA President under section 9(3)(a) read in conjunction with section 4(1)(a) of the NBA Constitution.

According to Ohazuruike, “Given that Yakubu C. Maikyau, SAN is not a member of the Unity Bar as represented by him, it follows that he is not eligible to contest the forthcoming elections under the highlighted provisions of the NBA Constitution. I therefore urge the ECNBA to scrutinize the eligibility of Yakubu C. Maikyau, SAN on this constitutional ground and accordingly disqualify him in the circumstances.”

It was unclear at press time whether the ECNBA has communicated the latest petition to the presidential aspirant.

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