NBA ELECTION’LL BE TRANSPARENT, INCLUSIVE, FREE AND FAIR – TAWO TAWO

At today’s meeting of the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) with candidates and other stakeholders, ECNBA Chairman, MR. TAWO TAWO SAN in his welcome address assures all that the committee is leaving no stone unturned to deliver free and credible polls 

ECNBA UPDATE ON THE NBA NATIONAL OFFICERS ELECTIONS 2020 PRESENTED AT THE STAKEHOLDERS INTERACTIVE SESSION HELD ON THE 27TH OF JULY 2020

PREAMBLE
The ECNBA welcomes you all to this interactive session to update Bar leaders, Candidates and Voters of the current state of affairs towards preparation for the NBA National Officers Elections. We had hoped that this session would take place earlier in the electoral process but the global health emergency response by Government compelled a change of the course of activities initially outlined by the Committee to accord with extant regulations on the pandemic and yet accord with the Nigerian Bar Association Constitution 2015(as amended). We do however consider it necessary at this stage of the electoral process, to hold this session albeit remotely, due to the prevailing conditions, to enable us rub minds with stakeholders in the process towards ensuring that we all have a National election that we can be proud of as Lawyers and as an Association.

COMMENCEMENT OF DUTIES
The ECNBA was appointed by the NBA NEC and inaugurated by the NBA President of the 12th day of March 2020 pursuant to the provisions of the NBA Constitution which prescribes for the appointment of the Committee at the first NEC meeting of an election year. The Committee was given the task of conducting the NBA National Officers election within four (4) months. This was at a time when the COVID19 pandemic had just broken out in the Country. Undeterred, the Committee was set to commence work immediately, even if working remotely, knowing that time was of the essence. The effect of the pandemic however significantly slowed down responses and affected schedules and timelines.

COMMITTEE ACTIVITIES
From the time of inauguration of the Committee till date, the ECNBA has carried several activities and has kept members informed through its several releases in ECNBA Statements Nos.1-15.

It is noteworthy that in the course of its activities, the ECNBA has constantly updated members via Statements and publications in total of fifteen (15) as at date. We would however like to specifically address some areas perceived to be of concern to members and Candidates in the election.

THE ELIGIBLE VOTERS REGISTER

The importance of a credible voters list to the NBA 2020 elections cannot be over emphasized. The Nigerian Bar Association Constitution 2015 (as amended) in Paragraph 1.3 (d) Second schedule stipulates that the register of eligible voters is to be compiled by the ECNBA in conjunction with the Nigerian Bar Association. As such the said task is not one that could be done without recourse or input from the NBA or its Staff. In furtherance of this provision, while engaging with the National Secretariat, the ECNBA also engaged with Branch Chairmen to supply lists of members that had met the Constitutional criteria for eligibility to vote, being payment of Branch Dues as at 31st March of 2020. The National Secretariat was also requested to produce the list of members who had paid their Bar Practice Fees as at March 31st 2020. This task suffered some delays due to the fact that the NBA National Secretariat and some Branches of the NBA were closed and not fully operational due to the Government lockdown in Abuja and other parts of the country, making it difficult to access some necessary documentation for the exercise. It would also be recalled that Access Bank was not fully operational at this time and needed time to supply the data on payments of BPF. Eventually, the National Secretariat succeeded in producing the comprehensive data on the BPF payments, but the lists from the NBA Branches were however more challenging to gather as shown in the several statements already published by the ECNBA to that effect.

The challenges to the exercise ranged from but were not limited to: lack of Bank statements showing payment of dues by members, failure of members to submit their payment details to their Branches for compilation, incomplete membership information and documentation from Branches, inaccurate lists submitted by some Branches, amongst others. The general impact of the lockdown across the country is also acknowledged as a major factor that affected the exercise.

In combating these challenges, the ECNBA had to device creative solutions, to sort through the various lists and payment details submitted in order to sieve those persons truly eligible to vote in compliance with the provisions of the NBA Constitution.

It must at this stage be clarified that due to complaints by members in respect of lists submitted by their Branches and the desire to ensure that no eligible Voter is disenfranchised, the ECNBA gave an opportunity to members whose names may have been omitted or had errors, to submit same directly to the Committee with proof of payment of their Branch dues and Bar Practice fees for compilation in the voters register. It is noteworthy that these activities had deadlines assigned to them because the Committee was also bound by timelines imposed by the NBA Constitution, which still remains effective in the face of the COVID19 pandemic. While some colleagues responded to the publications and extensions given within the time stipulated, some failed to do so and only awoke much later (after expiration of the deadlines) to demand that their names be included on the final Voters list. However, there must be an end to that exercise and as such the final list of names had to be published in accordance with the NBA Constitution.

VOTERS VERIFICATION EXERCISE
By the ECNBA Statement No. 008, the Committee called on eligible voters to ensure they verified their details on the NBA website preparatory to voting in the elections. The importance of the Exercise cannot be overemphasized as it is not only a form of accreditation for eligible Voters, but also a source of authentic data about members supplied by the Voters themselves. It also ensures that Voters have access to their portal in the event that the site would be used for the voting exercise. The verification exercise for voters has now ended by 6PM on Sunday 26th July 2020. We can confirm from records of the exercise available to us now, that over 30,000 Voters on the published Voters have now verified their details.

ELECTION PLATFORM AND IT CONSULTANT

Security and integrity of the voting platform for the NBA national officers election 2020 is of paramount importance to the ECNBA. The authenticity and security of votes cast at the elections are issues that have not been taken lightly. A lot of work has gone into ensuring that all but only legitimate votes count at the elections. It would be recalled that in the ECNBA Statement No.006, the Committee outlined its efforts at engaging an IT expert to work with the ECNBA in the determination of the proper platform to be used for voting and also the modalities for the electronic voting. We can confirm that further to our Request for Proposals, applications were received from several IT firms, which went through various stages of screening and interviews and at the end, a firm which was adjudged to have the requisite experience and expertise and competence in such matters was engaged to work with the ECNBA on this project. At the time of engagement of the Consultant, the ECNBA had not taken any decision as to the platform to be used for the elections as mentioned in our Statement No. 006 and were open to exploring all viable options, inclusive of the newly developed election portal of the Nigerian Bar Association. We had intimated that the decision as to what platform would be used for the elections would be based on the recommendations of the technical experts, in this case our engaged IT Consultants, not foreclosing recommendations from other experts. The Committee therefore deprecates in strong terms the various attempt by individuals, who in an attempt to force the hand of the ECNBA some of whom are members of the profession, to gain unauthorized access to the NBA website and going further to publish a report showing perceived weaknesses of the site to the world. This action is sad to say, not expected of gentlemen of the legal profession.

The ECNBA is confident of the competence of our OT Consultants who are to advise us on the technical aspects of the electoral process and will abide by their professional recommendations.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, and as we count down to the elections, the ECNBA wishes to express its gratitude to members of the Bar for their patience with the ECNBA, our Bar leaders for their constant advise and contributions and the National Secretariat for cooperation thus far in this process. Needless to say that we all are stakeholders in this process and must continue to work together to ensure a smooth transition process in our association for the benefit of us all. On its part the ECNBA will continue to keep its promise of doing its very best to conduct a transparent, inclusive, free and fair 2020 polls. We therefore urge you to keep an open mind on issues and make constructive contributions that will engender progress and promote the general good of our dear Association.

Thank you and God bless you.

Copyright 2020 CITY LAWYER. Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Join us on Facebook at https://web.facebook.com/City-Lawyer-Magazine-434937936684320 and on TWITTER at https://twitter.com/CityLawyerMag All materials available on this Website are protected by copyright, trade mark and other proprietary and intellectual property laws. You may not use any of our intellectual property rights without our express written consent or attribution to www.citylawyermag.com. However, you are permitted to print or save to your individual PC, tablet or storage extracts from this Website for your own personal non-commercial use.

NBA ELECTIONS: ECNBA TO MEET CANDIDATES TOMORROW

The Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) has made good its promise to meet with candidates in the forthcoming NBA Elections. The electoral committee in a statement scheduled the meeting to hold tomorrow at 5 pm.

The sole agenda for the meeting is “Update on the Elections.”

The full text of the statement is below:

Please TAKE NOTICE that the ECNBA would be holding an online interactive session with all Candidates in the NBA National Officers Election 2020, Bar leaders, and Stakeholders.

Details of the meeting are as follows:

Date: Monday, the 27th day of July 2020.

Time: 5.00 PM

Agenda: Update on the Elections

Dial-in details will be sent by email to participants.

Dated this 26th Day of July 2020.

Cordelia U. Eke (Mrs)

Secretary, ECNBA

Copyright 2020 CITY LAWYER. Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Join us on Facebook at https://web.facebook.com/City-Lawyer-Magazine-434937936684320 and on TWITTER at https://twitter.com/CityLawyerMag All materials available on this Website are protected by copyright, trade mark and other proprietary and intellectual property laws. You may not use any of our intellectual property rights without our express written consent or attribution to www.citylawyermag.com. However, you are permitted to print or save to your individual PC, tablet or storage extracts from this Website for your own personal non-commercial use.

ELECTION DEBATES: ECNBA MAY HAMMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

BY EMEKA NWADIOKE
There are strong indications that the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) is viewing with serious concern the campaign practices of candidates for the 2020 NBA Elections.

A source who is familiar with the operations of the electoral committee told CITY LAWYER that the electoral umpire is concerned that most of its warnings on campaigning have been observed in breach.

Making reference to a presidential debate billed for tomorrow and organized by The Platform Nigeria, a popular public speaking programme with Pastor Poju Oyemade of Covenant Christian Centre as Convener/Visionary, the source told CITY LAWYER that the committee has decided to deal decisively with the matter, saying: “The committee will take a step to stop the recurrence of these issues. The committee is already working on something.

“The (ECNBA) Statement was very clear. Debates for purposes of Campaign are not allowed. I believe the candidates know the rules, even if organisers feign ignorance.”

Reminded that tomorrow’s event is billed as an “interactive session” and not a debate, the source queried: “But it is Presidential? For candidates in the election!”

Indications have however emerged that at least one presidential candidate may not participate in the debate. A ranking official in the candidate’s campaign organisation told CITY LAWYER that “this is due to the ECNBA Statement on the subject. The statement is clear enough. While I have not spoken to my candidate on his participation, I think the options are clear – get the ECNBA to rescind its statement or stay away.”

It is recalled that The Platform Nigeria has scheduled for tomorrow a virtual programme tagged “Interactive sessions with the Presidential Candidates of the NBA 2020 Elections on their vision and plans for the Nigerian Bar Association.” 

YLF_DEBATE

While the interactive session with Mr. Dele Adesina SAN is scheduled to kick off at 3 pm tomorrow, Mr. Olu Akpata will mount the podium at 5 pm. On his part, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade SAN is billed for the 7 pm slot. Prospective participants are billed to register for the programme.

The electoral committee had in its ECNBA Statement No. 014 warned the candidates against infringing the electoral guidelines, saying: “The Committee frowns at activities that detract from the objectives of an inclusive free, fair, and credible poll for our Association. The Constitution has prescribed the manner of and mode for campaigns for the elections; as such, any electioneering campaign activity outside of this is unacceptable to the Committee. The candidates, their supporters, as well as NBA Branches, are advised to take down all help desks, debate platforms (virtual or physical), and or voting desks set up for the purpose of the elections and which are capable of compromising the integrity of the process. The Committee will not hesitate to sanction any candidate who deliberately flouts the provisions of the Constitution and the ECNBA Guidelines for the elections.” 

Though the NBA Young Lawyers Forum (NBA-YLF) had scheduled a Presidential Debate to hold today, the event was abruptly shelved in deference to the ECNBA’s latest position. CITY LAWYER gathered that efforts to make the electoral committee shift its position have so far proved abortive.

A notice by the NBA-YLF Chairman, Mr. Tobi Adebowale announcing suspension of the presidential debate read: “The motivation behind the debate was and remains our belief that Young Lawyers constitute a large proportion of the prospective voters at the NBA Elections and their concerns have invariably dominated the conversations around the elections. As such, the YLF decided upon hosting a live TV debate with feedback via social media to provide an opportunity for a robust conversation with the candidates for the OPNBA.

“As you are aware, the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (“ECNBA”) recently issued a statement to the effect that ‘candidates, their supporters, as well as NBA Branches, are advised to take down all help desks, debate platforms (virtual or physical), and or voting desks set up for the purpose of the elections and which are capable of compromising the integrity of the process.’
“Further to the above, the YLF has come to a decision to put the Debate earlier scheduled for 6:15pm today, July 18, 2020 on hold. We have communicated the above decision to the NBA Presidential Candidates and our partners, Plus TV Africa. We will continue to engage the ECNBA and other stakeholders for the benefit of Young Lawyers and the Bar at large.”

Meanwhile, some Bar Leaders have berated the presidential candidates for allegedly agreeing to participate in tomorrow’s debate. Uploading the programme’s banner on “State of the Bar,” a WhatsApp group populated by Nigeria’s legal elite, a commentator said: “Ok so i just stumbled on this and I’m like what!!!??? Is this appropriate? What really is happening? We go from Channels to TVC to CNN to ITV to AiT and now Platform? How selfless is service in the NBA really?”

This led another prominent lawyer to state: “I am worried too. Can’t the NBA organise a debate for our candidates? Why should it be 3rd parties doing that? It is becoming to look like this is a governorship election rather than an NBA election.”

The NBA Election is scheduled to hold on July 29 and 30, 2020.

Copyright 2020 CITY LAWYER. Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Join us on Facebook at https://web.facebook.com/City-Lawyer-Magazine-434937936684320 and on TWITTER at https://twitter.com/CityLawyerMag All materials available on this Website are protected by copyright, trade mark and other proprietary and intellectual property laws. You may not use any of our intellectual property rights without our express written consent or attribution to www.citylawyermag.com. However, you are permitted to print or save to your individual PC, tablet or storage extracts from this Website for your own personal non-commercial use.

ECNBA PUBLISHES CANDIDATES’ MANIFESTOS ON NBA WEBSITE

BY EMEKA NWADIOKE

The Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) has published the manifestos of candidates for the forthcoming NBA Elections on the association’s website, exactly 21 days prescribed by the NBA Constitution (as amended). The manifestos are hosted here.

Paragraph 2.3(h) of the Second Schedule to the NBA Constitution provides that “The Electoral Committee shall collate all materials, arrange them in alphabetical order without regard for the position being sought and publish them in an electronic Election Magazine to be hosted on the NBA website at least twenty-one (21) days before the election.”

CITY LAWYER recalls that the electoral committee had in its ECNBA STATEMENT NO. 013 directed the candidates “to submit an A4 size copy of his/her curriculum vitae (of not more than 4 pages), a comprehensive manifesto and other campaign materials (all in electronic form) on or before 6:00PM on Monday 6th July 2020, for upload on the NBA website.” It added: “For the avoidance of doubt, campaigns can only be carried out by publication of campaign materials supplied to the ECNBA to be hoisted on the NBA website. Travelling across the country to solicit for votes is prohibited.”

Copyright 2020 CITY LAWYER. Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Join us on Facebook at https://web.facebook.com/City-Lawyer-Magazine-434937936684320 and on TWITTER at https://twitter.com/CityLawyerMag All materials available on this Website are protected by copyright, trade mark and other proprietary and intellectual property laws. You may not use any of our intellectual property rights without our express written consent or attribution to www.citylawyermag.com. However, you are permitted to print or save to your individual PC, tablet or storage extracts from this Website for your own personal non-commercial use.

NBA ELECTIONS: ELECTORAL C’TE CLEARS ADESINA, AJIBADE, AKPATA, BARS 15 OTHERS

BY EMEKA NWADIOKE

• WITHDRAWS CLEARANCE TO GENERAL SECRETARY ASPIRANT
• DISQUALIFIES 2 INCUMBENT NATIONAL OFFICERS
• SETS JULY 15 DEADLINE FOR VERIFICATION
• VOWS TO DISQUALIFY CANDIDATES WHO FLOUT CAMPAIGN RULES
• SETS MONDAY DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF MANIFESTOS
• ASKS CANDIDATES TO DISMANTLE PARALLEL HELP DESKS

The Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) has released the list of candidates to contest the forthcoming NBA National Officers Elections.

While 28 candidates – including three presidential candidates – made the final list, 15 aspirants could not pass through the crucible of the screening process, including two incumbent national officers.

While 19 aspirants were initially disqualified by the electoral committee, 18 filed appeals while one opted not to file any appeal. The ECNBA withdrew the initial provisional clearance granted an aspirant for the post of General Secretary, Barth Okoye-Aniche following a petition, while five aspirants succeeded with their appeals.

CITY LAWYER had in an exclusive report noted concerns among some disqualified aspirants over the delay in the screening process and the promise by the electoral committee to fast-track the appeals process.

In its ECNBA Statement No. 13 titled “Full List of properly nominated candidates for the NBA National Elections 2020 and verification of members,” the electoral committee stated that “Having concluded the Appeals process, the ECNBA now presents a list of 28 candidates cleared to contest various offices in the NBA National Officers Elections 2020.” The statement was dated July 3, 2020 and jointly signed by Mr. Tawo Eja Tawo SAN and Mrs. Cordelia Eke, ECNBA Chairman and Secretary respectively.

CANDIDATES LIST

It urged the candidates to “submit an A4 size copy of his/her curriculum vitae (of not more than 4 pages), a comprehensive manifesto and other campaign materials (all in electronic form) on or before 6:00PM on Monday 6th July 2020, for upload on the NBA website.”

The committee emphasized that “campaigns can only be carried out by publication of campaign materials supplied to the ECNBA to be hoisted on the NBA website,” warning specifically that “Travelling across the country to solicit for votes is prohibited.” The committee warned candidates to abide by the NBA Constitution 2015 (as amended) and the ECNBA Guidelines in their electioneering campaigns, vowing that “Any violation of these will be severely sanctioned including disqualification from contesting the elections.”

On the controversial final voters register, the committee emphasized “the need for members to verify and update their details on the NBA website on or before the 15th day of July, 2020. This is to ensure that everyone can access the voting portal during the elections as only those who are verified can vote.”

Leading human rights activist and former Chairman of National Human Rights Commission, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu had poked holes in the voters register, saying: “After 2 #RiggedElections, @NigBarAssoc seems well on its way to a 3rd. The voters list produced by#ECNBA appears riddled wth some impressive non-persons. Voter No. 5500 is a person called “Opening Balance”?! There’s a way to stop this: verify the names with reference to receipts.”

Turning to the issue of parallel help desks set up by some candidates, the electoral committee frowned on the practice, describing it as “unacceptable.” “We advise that such efforts be dismantled immediately not to interfere with the mandate of the Committee, confuse our members or be interpreted as attempts to harvest members’ details for use at the elections,” it said. It urged eligible voters to rely instead on the Help Desk set up by the NBA to assist members having challenges with the verification process.

Among those cleared to run for the elections are Mr. Dele Adesina SAN, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade SAN and Mr. Olumide Akpata who will battle for the coveted NBA Presidency slot. The position of First Vice President remains the most crowded field, with six candidates cleared for the race. They include John Aikpokpo-Martins, Oluwaseun Ajoba, Adebayo Akinlade, Adedotun Adetunji, Ganiat Siyonbola and Dawud Sulayman. Siyonbola was not in the list of aspirants provisionally cleared for the election.

While the race for Second Vice President is a straight fight between Adesola Abimbola and Kazeem Adeyemo, both aspirants for the position of Third Vice President – Promise Wobo Iwezor and Gerald Abonyi – failed to scale the screening hurdle.

With Barth Okoye-Aniche haven fallen by the way-side, the race for the influential post of General Secretary is now between Alex Muoka, Joyce Oduah, Okey Ohagba and Christopher Yakemewerigha. The battle for the post of Assistant Secretary remains unchanged, with three combatants – Anne Agi, Uche Nwadialo and Aigbokhai Osagie – cleared for the race.

Returnee candidate Mercy Ijato Agada and Raphael Anagor have clinched the positions of Treasurer and Financial Secretary respectively without a fight. While Caroline Ibharuneafe who sought the post of Treasurer fell under the disqualification hammer, Anagor seemed the solitary applicant for the post of Financial Secretary.

With incumbent Second Assistant Secretary Chinyere Obasi and Osahon Irehovbude having been disqualified by the electoral committee, the race for the post of Welfare Secretary promises to be a fierce battle between incumbent National Publicity Secretary, Kunle Edun and returnee candidate, Sabastine Anyia.

Following a successful appeal and the reinstatement of his name on the ballot, Olayinka Sokoya will slug it out with Rapuluchukwu Nduka for the post of Publicity Secretary while four candidates – President Aigbokhan, Charles Ajiboye, Ferdinand Naza and Dominic Ochenehi – will battle for the position of Assistant Publicity Secretary. While Ajiboye and Ochenehi had appealed their disqualification by the electoral committee, leading to their reinstatement in the race, Henry Chibuike Ugwu of Ihiala Branch and Oladotun Hassan of Epe Branch did not succeed with their appeals.

Among those who were also disqualified are controversial former Ikeja Branch Chairman, Adesina Ogunlana; S. O. K. Shillings, and incumbent Assistant Publicity Secretary, Akorede Habeeb Lawal who sought the substantive post of Publicity Secretary.

Copyright 2020 CITY LAWYER. Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Join us on Facebook at https://web.facebook.com/City-Lawyer-Magazine-434937936684320 and on TWITTER at https://twitter.com/CityLawyerMag All materials available on this Website are protected by copyright, trade mark and other proprietary and intellectual property laws. You may not use any of our intellectual property rights without our express written consent or attribution to www.citylawyermag.com. However, you are permitted to print or save to your individual PC, tablet or storage extracts from this Website for your own personal non-commercial use.

NBA LAGOS ELECTIONS: CANDIDATES SCORE ELECTORAL C’TE, SEEK VOTES

As the Nigerian Bar Association, Lagos Branch Elections approach the finish line this Friday, some candidates http://nbalagoselections.com.ng/election-candidates/ for the election have been speaking on the performance of the Electoral Committee led by Mr. Richard Akintunde SAN. Akintunde has been a longstanding Chairman of the committee for several consecutive years. The committee is also made up of Chief E. A. Otokhina, Mr. Geff Eze, Mrs. Obosa Akpata and Mrs. Olusola Adegbonmire.

CITY LAWYER had sought the views of the candidates for the posts of Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary. While one chairmanship candidate responded, others had not responded at press time. All the candidates for the posts of Vice Chairman and Secretary however responded to CITY LAWYER enquiries at press time.

The candidates also stated why they consider themselves as the most qualified for the posts they are seeking. Below are their views:

BOLATUMI ANIMASHAUN
POST: CHAIRMAN
The Executive, through the NBA Secretariat, did its own part by submitting the real attendance registers signed by members at meetings to the Electoral Committee. In addition to this, is a compilation of list of members that made the 5 meetings attendance, a requirement of the 2015 Uniform Bye Law for NBA.

The Executive, through the NBA Secretariat, did its own part by submitting the real attendance registers signed by members at meetings to the Electoral Committee. In addition to this, is a compilation of list of members that made the 5 meetings attendance, a requirement of the 2015 Uniform Bye Law for NBA.

The Electoral Committee has a time table on the election which they are adhering to. The Electoral Committee has been effective in terms of disseminating information to candidates and members. I therefore think we are good to go.

The outgoing executive under the leadership of Chukwuka Ikwuazom has been regarded as the best thing that happened to NBA Lagos. I am the Vice Chairman and an active member of the Executive, I am the best for a seamless transition and continuity.

The Human Rights Committee under my Chairmanship witnessed an unprecedented achievement in the decongestion of Prison. Members of the Human Rights Committee put in their best within their limited personal resources and their efforts resulted in the release of over one hundred inmates and, about 4 were sentenced; matters are still going on in the various courts. Members of the Human Rights Committee are just wonderful and I believe there are still more like them in the Branch.

With my humility, friendly disposition, encouragement and hardwork, I usually get a lot of people who are willing and ready to walk and work with me to achieve my vision. I believe in setting goal with time frame. It is the best way to get things done as planned. Every member must have a sense of belonging.

There will be a definite and good working relationship between the Branch and the police. This is a promise. Henceforth, any police officer that acted unbecoming shall not go scotfree. However, there is need to tutor our members to always act like gentlemen that we are supposed to be. Once there is mutual respect, a cordial relationship will be established.

The same thing goes for the Bar and Bench relationship. Efforts will be made to improve on this. The relationship between the young lawyers and their employers shall also be addressed. Heads of Chambers will be encouraged to take more interest and be active in the Branch activities.

I have also initiated a 5 year plan to pay the Practising fee and Bar dues of 20 young lawyer between 1-5 years post call and 18 benefitted this current year. I did similar things during annual dinner. More senior lawyers will be encouraged to help in lifting up the younger ones.

There is need to establish an ‘in-house code of conducts’ by members for members that will distinguish us from other branches. This is not going to be totally different from our professional conduct but breaking the rules down to basic. If this is agreed to, members will put this together and decide on means of enforcement.

No more procrastination on the building of our Bar Centre. I am a stake holder by my one million naira contribution in 2016. Apart from building on Chukwuka Ikwuazom’s legacy, I will do more than I promised to do in my manifesto. I will stabilize the Branch with my experiences and maturity.

OKEY ILOFULUNWA
POST: VICE CHAIRMAN
The preparations have been good. We await the outcome of the online voting system which I believe will also be good. The character of the members of the electoral committee members gives credence to the voting system. I do not have any problems with the preparations and enjoin our members to give the committee an opportunity to show that it can be done.

On why I am best suited to be the Vice Chairman, I will simply refer you to my profile and my manifesto which I will send you shortly. They speak volume about the kind of person I am, what I have done in the past for NBA and what I will do in future as Vice Chairman. The Vice Chairman of NBA Lagos by our Bye-Laws heads the Human Rights Committee. The Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), a leading non-governmental organization, has agreed to work with me to train our law enforcement agencies on the tenets of human rights with particular emphasis on the implication of the far-reaching innovations introduced by Administration of Criminal Justice Law.

I will also create a special forum for all heads of legal departments of law enforcement agencies in Lagos. This will enable us to have a regular interface with these key stakeholders in discharging their mandate. It will also help to bridge the gap between lawyers and law enforcement agents in justice delivery to our clients.

Under my watch in Human Rights Committee, I will also reorganize the Committee to be more responsive to the needs of our members and the society. I will create a Corporate Social Responsibility framework to encourage law firms to sponsor the work of the Human Rights Committee. This will ensure that hardworking committee members are paid stipends for the work to encourage them to do more.

Welfare of our members: I will create a platform where businesses around Lagos can give discounts to our members who patronize their outlets. The names of such businesses will be listed on a portal where members can easily access them. Under this platform, I have also started discussing with electronics merchants to provide one-year interest-free hire purchase services to our members to buy electronics and household items.

CHUKS NWANA
POST: VICE CHAIRMAN
My impressions regarding the preparations for the election so far have been good.

I must also add that more enlightenment is needed now that we are embarking on a novel voting procedure “the electronic vote” for the first time in the history of the Branch elections. If we get it right, then the National body would come for tutorials.

I am the best candidate for the job because I have the necessary experience as I have been in Human Right Committee for 3 administrations consistently.

The Provisions of section 7 of our Uniform Bye Law stated that the Vice Chairman of the Branch should be the Chairman of the Human Rights Committee. During my University years I was a member of Amnesty International and before I graduated, I became the Director of Group 8 Unilag Chapter.

Moreover, I am not taking the post to start the work afresh but just to consolidate and advance the work we have been doing in the committee.

The innovations I would introduce if elected are as follows:

  1. Open and maintain a diary “The Human Rights Diary” and will also post Human Rights cases cause list in all NBA Lagos for a every weekend.
  2. Encouraging the participation of the seniors of the Branch in the Human rights activities.
  3. Encouraging Seniors to sponsor a pro bono case for a willing junior member of the branch and make sure there is a one-to-one interaction with the junior and the such seniors for direction.
  4. Using social networking medium to create and sustain a synergy between the various committees of the Branch and Human Right Committee.
  5. Encouraging more participation of the members in the activities of the Branch through the direct involvement of Human Rights Committee.
  6. Involve the members more with permission of the Chairman in some academic enhancing resources and welfare policies of the Branch.
  7. Creating more avenues to gather and utilize innovative opinions from the members.
  8. To carry out all delegated duties by the Chairman and the General House to the best of my ability at all times, as well as standing in to deliver quality services to the branch in the absence of the Chairman.

Finally, having seen what I am bringing on board you would agree with me that I am the best man for the post of Vice Chairman of our Premier Branch.

BODE OMOBORIOWO
POST: VICE CHAIRMAN
The role of Vice Chairman is not a child’ play. It requires an experienced fellow who has been up and doing in the affairs of NBA not just at the branch levels but National.

As former member of Human Right committee at both the branch and national. I want to believe that I have garnered enough strength and experience to make me the best candidate for the job. And if elected, I want to introduce more innovations that will make our branch occupancy its pride of place in the committee of all branches.

MOSHOOD ABIOLA
POST: SECRETARY
I am satisfied with preparations for the elections so far. The members of the Electoral Committee are seasoned legal Practitioners of high integrity and experience. The present Executive Committee of the Branch retained the members of the last Electoral Committee because of their excellent performance over the years. They are on top of the situation and I believe they have the capability to deliver a free and fair election as they have always done.

Our elections at NBA Lagos Branch has always been peaceful and devoid of rancor and desperation. You know we are the Premier Bar and we lead by example, we are a body of distinguished and classy lawyers. Interestingly the election this year is by electronic voting and I am excited by this. Electronic voting will ensure that our members who are out of Lagos or out of the country on the day of election can vote. This further confirms our enviable status as the Premier Bar. This is the first time an NBA branch election will be conducted online and we look forward to it with excitement.

The Premier Bar has had a chequered history. It has produced the finest lawyers in the country and very high standards have been set. This has been so because the best have always been chosen to pilot its affairs. Mediocrity has never been accepted at the Premier bar. Each executive committee has been an improvement on the previous one.

The present Executive Committee that has been led brilliantly by the effervescent and irrepressible Mr. Chukwuka Ikwuazom has raised the bar higher as a lot of our members will testify to and I am very proud to be a part of the team. The apathy hitherto shown by our members to branch activities has disappeared and members now feel a connect with the branch.

As Publicity Secretary, I have made my contribution to the many successes recorded by this administration. Beyond that I have worked with the Secretary as part of the website subcommittee that oversaw the rebuilding of the branch website and I was also part of the final recruitment process for the newly appointed Administrator for the secretariat.

In assessing the best candidate for the office of the Secretary, it is absolutely crucial to take a critical look at their capabilities, experience and track record. And in doing this, it is important to look at recent experience and track record and not experience from ten years ago because we are in the era of constantly evolving technological advancements. The way the secretariat of the branch was run ten years ago can no longer be applicable now.

Continuity in administration is key because the two-year tenure of the executive committee is usually not enough to achieve all the set goals. It is imperative that experienced persons are part of any incoming executive so that they can hit the ground running especially if they are part of the outgoing executive committee.

I am confident in my abilities to maintain the high standards set by this administration, and with my skills and experience, including those gained as Publicity Secretary, I believe I am the best candidate for the office of Secretary.

TOCHUKWU CHUKWUMERIJE
POST: SECRETARY
I am TOCHUKWU CHUKWUMERIJE, Esq and the founder of Bulwark Attorneys, a corporate/commercial law firm. Am the best candidate for secretary because I had the privilege of serving, the branch as 1st Assistant Secretary (2013-2015) wherein I also discharged the duties of Secretary for five months (march 2014- July 2014) after we lost our secretary through an accident. From 2015 to present date being serving as Secretary Nigerian Bar Association Disciplinary Committee Panel “B” For Lagos.

I was appointed Secretary of the Panel by Former President of Nigerian Bar Association Austin Alegeh (SAN) led administration, approved by National Executive Committee (NEC) and for an outstanding service was reappointed by A.B Mahmoud (SAN) led administration. Through experience I know the importance of an efficient and vibrant Secretariat. I will drive initiatives and formulate policies targeted at professionalizing the secretariat ie up-to-date digital legal directory, upgrade the website, photocopiers, free internet etc. I will engage in initiatives that promotes Law Firm development, partnership encouragement schemes, sponsoring and mentorship with a view of promoting independent firms among the young lawyers.

It is therefore with great sense of purpose and sincere steadfastness that I put myself forward in my continuing quest to serve, as the best man for the secretary job. Being the most experienced of all the contestants with proven performance I would draw from the significant secretarial skills I have learned and gained over the years The qualities of leadership, charisma, erudition, integrity, dignity, excellence and competence.

OBINNA OKEREKE
POST: SECRETARY
The preparations for the forthcoming Nigeria Bar Association Lagos Branch Elections has been top notch and concerted until the publication of Final List of Voters for the election. The omission of names of many eligible members of the branch with good standing from the list has cast doubts on resolve and preparedness of the Election committee to conduct free, fair & credible election. Worst still, omission of names of candidates vying for the election from the Final list who were recently cleared by the Election committee to contest in the election having been found to be eligible and of good standing pursuant to the NBA Bye Law even leaves much to be desired. As it is, my impression about preparedness of Election committee for the forthcoming election is one of doubt in view of the possibility of many eligible voters being disenfranchised and illegible (sic) members of the Branch voting in the election.

I am Obinna Nnaemeka Okereke, LL.M (Notary Public) the Principal Partner of High Refuge Attorneys a corporate and commercial law firm with office address at No.32 Association Avenue, Ilupeju Lagos State.

I attended University of Nigeria Enugu Campus (UNEC) where I obtained LL.B (Honors). After my call to Bar in May, 2002, I proceeded to University of Ibadan where I obtained LL.M (Master of laws) as one of the best students.

I have been an active member of Nigeria Bar Association Lagos Branch since 2002 and worked closely with some committees. Over, the years I had attended virtually all Nigeria Bar Association General Conference and Commonwealth Lawyers Conference as a member.

I was President of Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria (CLASFON) at Nigeria Law School Lagos Campus as well as National Officer of the body for several years. Iam passionate to transform administration of secretariat of the Premier Bar to international standards and ensure seamless update of membership database in such a way that names of registered members of the Branch is regularly uploaded to the website.

Another reason why Iam best candidate for job of secretary is that I would work in synergy with Executive committee of the Branch to among other issues address challenges faced by Lawyers in Courts within Lagos Judicial Division by engaging Chief Judge of Federal High Court on ease of filing process at Federal High Court Ikoyi, Lagos.

I have all it takes to make our continuing Legal Education (CLE) expert and skill-training focused during our monthly meetings in those key areas of novel Law Practice such as Fintech law, E-Discovery practice, Internet crime Law Practice, Maritime Law, Aviation Law, private Infrastructure finance among other emerging new areas of Law Practice. I would do better than other candidates in using proper technology software to ensure seamless and accurate record of attendance at monthly meetings of the Branch and update record of members with good standing on the website periodically.

Iam in a better position to specialize and make continuing legal education for Young Lawyers more impactful because as Adjunct Lecturer of Nigeria Law School Lagos Campus I interviewed them during portfolio assessment and know what is needed to uplift their law practice mentorship.

I am best candidate for office of Secretary because Iam committed to deliver on these goals, my manifesto and other novel initiatives that would take our Premier Bar to greater heights.

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There are strong indications that CRENET Techlabs is yet to conclude the clean-up of the final voters’ register following the end of the verification exercise, CITY LAWYER can report. Continue Reading