The Nigerian Bar Association Election Appeals Tribunal (NBA-NEAC) has dismissed the appeals of four more aspirants in the forthcoming NBA Elections.

The aspirants whose electoral journey have been cut short by the tribunal include Ms. Adaeze Ann Anah, an aspirant for the position of NBA Representative at the General Council of the Bar (GCB) as well as her counterparts, Messrs Jude Okey Ugwanyi, Sunday Abayomi Akanni and Olufemi Adeneye Onakoya.

In upholding the decision of the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) which disqualified Anah, the Appeals Tribunal held: “The Petitioner’s Nominator, Mr. Jacob Johnson Usman, SAN and the Seconder Ms Mimi Ayua, are both from the Northern Geographical Zone.”

“By virtue of Part V, Paragraph 2 of the Second Schedule to the NBA Constitution 2015 (as amended), each Zone in the NBA must produce at least Six (6) representatives to the General Council of the Bar. This implies that representation into the General Council of the Bar is on zonal basis, and duly stipulated in the NBA Constitution.”

The tribunal then held that “In the light of the totality of the findings above, we hold that the Petitioner was not validly nominated and seconded, because the Petitioner’s Nominator and her Seconder are not as qualified as her.”

On Akanni, the tribunal stated that “We hold that the ECNBA acted within its powers and the Law, in disqualifying the Appellant in line with our findings above, because the Appellant’s seconder, did not and does not meet the constitutional requirement, having not come from the same geographical zone with the Appellant, which is in breach of Part V, Sections 2 and 5 of the Second Schedule of the NBA Constitution.”

Turning to Ugwanyi, the Appeals Tribunal said: “We hold that the Petitioner having not provided evidence of payment of his Nominator’s branch dues for years 2020 & 2021, did not meet the requirements of a valid nomination to enable him contest the election.

“We also hold that by the provisions of Part V, S. 2 of the Second Schedule to the Constitution, the Petitioner`s Nominator, Alhaji Ahmed Abdullahi being of the Northern Geographical Zone is not qualified to nominate the Petitioner who is from the Eastern Geographical Zone.”

On Onakoya, the tribunal stated that “The reason which the ECNBA premised its decision is well grounded because the Nominator does not meet the constitutional requirement, having not come from the same zone which is in breach of Part V, Sections 2 and 5 of the Second Schedule of the NBA Constitution. We also hold, that the zoning arrangement to aspire or contest to the seat as a representative to the General Council of the Bar, by a candidate, must of necessity, also apply to the Nominator and Seconder.”

CITY LAWYER recalls that the tribunal had earlier upheld the decisions of the ECNBA disqualifying some other aspirants from the election. These include NBA 1st Vice President aspirant, Mr. Muhammad Doko Idris; his 2nd Vice President counterpart, Mr. Finian Ndukwu, and a 3rd Vice President aspirant, Mr. Promise Besinginwayemi Awolowo Ademi-Akpeto.

Others are Mr. Chukwuemeka Mbamala, an aspirant for the post of Treasurer as well as Mr. Felix Ashimole (aka Che Oyinatumba) whose quest for the position of NBA Publicity Secretary was also cut short by the ECNBA hammer.

The NBA election is scheduled to hold via electronic voting on July 16, 2022.

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