The crisis rocking the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Executive Committee is far from over as the embattled NBA Treasurer, Caroline Anze-Bishop has distanced herself from the highly publicized ‘peace pact’ between the squabbling NBA National Officers.

CITY LAWYER recalls that NBA witnessed perhaps the most chaotic Annual General Meeting (AGM) in recent history when the National Treasurer alongside the NBA Second Vice President Clement Chukwuemeka and Third Vice President Amanda Demechi-Asagba argued that NBA President, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau SAN was impeding the performance of their constitutional roles.

But NBA had announced in a Press Statement that it had hammered out a truce between the National Officers, saying: “The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, OON, SAN has announced the reconciliation of the national officers of the NBA following the disagreements that emerged during the last Annual General Meeting of the NBA.”

Quoting Maikyau, the statement read: “We have allowed ourselves to become ministers of reconciliation such that all the challenges and the differences we had within our Exco, have by the special grace of God today, been reconciled. And the first place we would go to after that reconciliation is this occasion…we give God all the glory, and the process of reconciliation was not difficult, it was seamless.”

The statement added: “The reconciliation of the national officers took place at the meeting of the National Executive Committee of the NBA, presided over by the NBA President, who had in attendance all the national officers of the Association. Rising from the meeting, members of the Executive Committee resolved to put their differences aside and re-dedicate themselves to the service of members and the lofty objectives of the NBA.”

But Anze-Bishop told CITY LAWYER that nothing could be farther from the truth. Responding to the public statement, she said: “I saw the statement just like you did, that we resolved. Resolved what? And who’s ‘We’? The AGM Saga was an open public show and so was my rejoinder, and I expect a public response by Mr. President to those issues and nothing less.”

Giving a hint that nothing has changed since the highly publicized face-off at the AGM, Anze-Bishop stated that her role is still being usurped. Her words: “My job is still being done by the G. S. and Mr. President, so (the) status quo remains the same and a few exaggerated words won’t cover it.

“I am not in a boxing ring with anyone so it’s baseless to claim we’ve (whoever that is) reached a truce. The National Officers physically met on the 19th and 21st of October but I only joined virtually on Saturday, the 21st, the second day. With the exception of the 1st VP perhaps, every other National Officer pointed out that Mr. President carries on by himself regardless of our presence or roles as National Officers.”

Hinting that the face-off between her and the NBA President may still rear its ugly head at the forthcoming NBA National Executive Council (NBA-NEC) meeting, Anze-Bishop said: “I equally reiterated to him (Maikyau) and the EXCO that the same scenario of the AGM with me will repeat itself at NEC because nothing has changed even as at now, and I will report no falsehood. Mr. President only responded that we will meet at the next meeting of 28th November and discuss these issues. Is that how a ‘resolution’ is done? as I hear being peddled around?”

CITY LAWYER recalls that Anze-Bishop had washed her hands off the financial statements presented to the AGM, saying she would not endorse them as she was not privy to the preparation of the statements. The AGM ended abruptly, without adopting or approving the financial statements.

Noting that she “always looks forward to an excellent working relationship with Mr. President,” the NBA Treasurer however told CITY LAWYER that “The issues I tabled before the AGM are yet to be resolved,” adding that “the status quo remains the same the same.”

She described the NBA public statement as “a most inspiring and proactive statement capable of giving an exquisite makeover or face lift to the worst of scenarios I would humbly imagine. So, Bravo!”

Tracing the crisis to the “abundance of little or no regard for National Officers and their Constitutional duties/Offices inter alia,” Anze-Bishop told CITY LAWYER that “A consideration of Romans 13:7 and upholding the provisions of our Constitution especially with regard to the sacredness of the duties of each officer and drawn boundaries between one Officer and the other, or between one Officer and others inter alia will certainly help to set things aright in my modest view.”

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