Mr. Ndifreke Aquaisua, a lawyer and former Executive Assistant to the immediate past Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) General Secretary, Mrs. Joyce Oduah, has described his former boss as high-handed and “schizophrenic,” saying she also called immediate past NBA President, Mr. Olumide Akpata “a wicked person.”

In a response to Oduah’s letter to NBA President, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau SAN which was made available to CITY LAWYER, Aquaisua said Oduah’s letter was a “potpourri of lies,” even as he said that “I had to resign having gotten fed up with her high-handedness, over bloated ego, schizophrenic nature of believing that everybody at the Secretariat is after her life.”

Below is the full text of his rebuttal.

Facts Are Sacred: Ndifreke Aquaisua Esq. Reacts To Allegations Levelled Against Him By Former General Secretary Of NBA, Mrs. Joyce Oduah (Part 1)

It is surprising and laughable that it took the former suspended General Secretary of NBA, Mrs. Joyce Oduah more than one month to react to facts contained in my Affidavit of Facts. Obviously, she needed time to concoct her potpourri of lies.

I did not want to join issues with the former suspended General Secretary based on advice and plea from friends, senior and junior colleagues I hold in high respect.

However, since the sacked General Secretary has decided to embark on a macabre dance in the market square, I am left with no other option than to set the records straight because facts are sacred and must not be skewed for personal gains.

My meeting Mrs. Oduah was facilitated by Sammy Etuk, Esq., a senior colleague I hold in high esteem at SPIDEL Conference in Aba, Abia state in 2019, who was able to convince me to work with him and others to ensure she emerged the second female General Secretary of NBA.

Within the period of her campaign, I acted as her media assistant by writing and syndicating materials to market her candidature at no cost or pecuniary interest.

That within the period of working with her, just like others, I noticed her over bloated ego, penchant for branding her opponents and anybody not in support of her ambition as diabolic and after her life.

That because Mrs. Oduah by birth is from my State of origin (Akwa Ibom) and the need to avoid being branded a person who works against the interest of people from my State, I stomached her excesses to ensure that we worked to actualize her victory at the polls.

After her victory at the polls, I was invited to work with her as an Executive Assistant, an offer I refused, I rejected at first, because of her erratic and cantercorous (sic) nature, but was prevailed upon to join her.

My first day as the Executive Assistant to Mrs. Oduah started with a lengthy briefing, where she told me that everyone in the Secretariat hated her and are diabolically trying to harm her. She mentioned some of her colleagues in the Exco as people targeting her downfall and ended up warning me not to talk or mix with any person at the NBA Secretariat.

The allegation that Mrs. Oduah physically assaulted me is true, this is evident in her admission that the only physical contact she had with Mr. Aquaisua was “a tap on his left shoulder to get his attention”. Her attempt to misrepresent facts as to her assault of my person falls flat on its face because she did not need to attract my attention when we were talking.

Her grouse with me was basically because Mrs. Kemi Beatrice (Head of Branding Department), an innocent lady she claims is also after her life offered me a lift at about 10:30pm which I ordinarily accepted her kind gesture as Mrs. Oduah never gave a hoot about how I go back to my residence when I close late at night.

On the issue of application letter, Mrs. Oduah instructed me to draft an application letter and backdate it to August, 2020 and that the said application letter should reflect “General Secretary-Elect”. I did exactly as she instructed me and the said application letter was forwarded to the President.

Immediately the President received the application letter, he drew her attention that the letter was not properly addressed as it should have been addressed to the President and not to the General Secretary or General Secretary-Elect as she asked me to address.

If in her words, I was not competent, then she herself was not also competent for failing to decern (sic) that the letter was not properly “written” and transmitting same to the President. Infact, the allegation is not only baseless but a futile attempt to give a dog a bad name to hang it.

The same incompetent Ndifreke Aquaisua is the person who prepared most of the media materials Mrs. Oduah used during her campaign and filed a good percentage of the reports from her office for the five months I worked with her and when I left she could not do it herself to the extent that it took the then Publicity Secretary, Dr. Rapuluchukwu and other members of the Exco to perform her statutory duties to cover the shame her incompetence would have brought to the Exco members who actually acted in good faith to protect the collective integrity of the Exco and shield Mrs. Oduah’s ineptitude as General Secretary.

On the baseless allegation of my acting Oliver Twist, I must state that this is a lie from the pit of hell as my salary and other emoluments as a staff of the Secretariat of our noble association was fixed and could not be influenced or changed by an individual so it is highly preposterous to give the impression that I wanted Mrs. Oduah to change or give anything outside what was stipulated in my letter of appointment. She lacked such powers to do so. I did not take Mrs. Oduah as family because she did not treat me same.

The only time I went to her home was during her thanksgiving service in Lagos which she gave me a bus fare to Lagos and caused me to sleep on mat in her sitting room throughout my period of stay in Lagos and turned me to a domestic help. A duty I carried out as a result of the respect of the office she occupies in our noble association.

Mrs. Oduah infact turned me to an errand boy who must carry her handbag, helped her put on her shoes and drive her around in my car when she visits Uyo on official assignments at my expense. Without sounding immodest, I am from a very comfortable home, owners of one the foremost and oldest higher institution in Akwa Ibom State but by our training, we are taught to be humble, modest and respectful.

So my working with Mrs. Oduah as Executive Assistant was not about the money because she could not afford to pay me, as when I resumed, I flew into Abuja and stayed in hotel for two weeks without a dime from Mrs. Oduah or my employers and got a place to live without any contribution from her.

I had to resign having gotten fed up with her high-handedness, over bloated ego, schizophrenic nature of believing that everybody at the Secretariat is after her life and I could not mix with my colleagues freely for fear of harassment by Mrs. Oduah who believed I will be used to get at her.

In January, 2021 after the Christmas vacation, I was ill and reached out to the head of Administration and Finance, Salamatu Sidi, Esq. and told her I was ill and will not be able to resume immediately, she advised me to take my health seriously and see a medical doctor and rest as well till I get fit to resume.

When I reported my poor state of health to Mrs. Oduah, she rained fire and brimstone on me, calling me unprintable names and even cursing me as a lazy and pretentious bone. She even went to the extent of putting a call across to my referee, Sammy Etuk, Esq. to ask me to report immediately or face her wrath.

I could not take it anymore, after my treatment, immediately I arrived Abuja, I tendered my resignation letter addressed to the President, then forwarded a copy to her through WhatsApp. Immediately she got it, she queried me why I had to address it to the President instead of her, that I should go and withdraw it and address it to her and also wait for her to come back as the President, Mr. Olumide Akpata being a wicked person will not accept my resignation. This to me was a cheap lie, blackmail and a ploy to frustrate my resignation and I was not ready for that.

Mrs. Oduah put a call across to senior lawyers I respect in my home State to prevail on me to withdraw my letter of resignation. For once, I chose to disobey them.

I have chosen to make this comment to set the records straight and clear my name.

To be continued…

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The President of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Justice Benedict Kanyip has appointed former Nigerian Bar Association Vice President, Mr. Monday Ubani as a Public Trustee to administer the affairs of Nigeria’s oldest industrial union, Nigeria Civil Service Union following the nullification of the union’s January 2018 National Delegates Conference.

Though one Comrade Lawrence Amaechi was purportedly elected at the conference, the election was set aside as being in contravention of a valid court order that status quo be maintained pending the determination of a substantive suit on the matter.

CITY LAWYER gathered that though Ubani’s initial attempt to resume duty this January was frustrated by the said Comrade Amaechi’s led Executive, this was reversed on 29th January, 2021 when the appointment was enforced by the Public Trustee with the support of the Court and the Nigerian Police.

The appointment letter from the Industrial Court, dated 29th of December, 2020 stated that Mr Ubani’s appointment is sequel to the Order contained in the judgement delivered on the 25th October, 2019 by Justice Sanusi Kado of the Abuja Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court in the suit between Comrade Benson Ekasa and 1 other v. Comrade Kiri Mohammed (then National President of the Union).

The letter reads: “Pursuant to Section 19(c) of the National Industrial Court Act, 2006; Order 59 of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria(Civil Procedure) Rule, 2017 and the Order contained in the judgement delivered on the 25th October, 2019 by His Lordship Hon Justice Sanusi Kado, in the above subject matter suit, I hereby appoint you, Monday O. Ubani Esq, as the Public Trustee for the Nigeria Civil Service Union(hereinafter referred to as the “Union” for an initial period of three (3) months, effective from the date of your acceptance of the appointment, on the following terms:

1. To oversee and superintend the running of the administration and finances of the Union.
2. To convene National Delegates Conference of the National Civil Service Union and organise election to elect new executive members in line with the constitution of the Union.
3. To render account of your activities within the above specified period in a report to be forwarded to the Court immediately after the expiration of the tenure.
4. To forward a copy of the report to the Honourable Minister of Labour.
5. In the event that you are not able to conclude your assignment within the three months period stated above, you may apply for re-appointment for another three months. In this event, you shall be requested to provide satisfactory reasons why you may be so re-appointed.”

Ubani has now received the commitment of the various Heads of the staff who are running the administration before his appointment. They all promised to support the Public Trustee to succeed in the onerous task that is placed before him.

The appointment of a Public Trustee by the Industrial Court is to enable him conduct free, fair election and enthrone a leadership that is acceptable to all and sundry including restoring sanity and stability to the operations of the union. 

Mr Ubani has since paid a visit to the Ministry of Labour and Employment where he met with the Minister of State for Labour & Productivity, Mr. Festus Keyamo SAN and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Yerima Tarfa to intimate them of his appointment by the Court. He has also submitted his letter of notification and acceptance to the Minister, Dr. Chris Ngige.



As the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) 2020 Election inches to a close, the much anticipated inaugural audit of the election may be the elixir needed to calm frayed nerves and pull the poll away from the usual rancour that has bedeviled previous exercises.

Signs that the election may walk the troubled part of past polls emerged today when one of the presidential candidates, Mr. Dele Adesina SAN wrote to the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) demanding cancellation of the election.

In a petition to the electoral committee, Adesina alleged that the election is fraught with irregularities, saying that the voters’ list “contained grave errors of omission and commission.” He listed some of the errors to include:

  1. Names of purported lawyers without branches ascribed to them from Serial Number 25171 to 29635;
  2. Names of Lawyers under the subheading “International Diaspora” from Serial Number 12182 to 12268. A clear violation of the provisions of the Constitution of the NBA;
  3. Inflation of the List of some Branches. For instance, Obollo-Afor Branch on the Final List for Verification had only 39 names on the List from Serial Number 30424 to 30462. Strangely, this increased to 662 on the Verified List;
  4. Deletion of Names of Members removed from the Final List;
  5. Many Members names found their way to Branches other than their own Branch.

Adesina stated that though he took up the matter with NBA President, Mr. Paul Usoro SAN as well as with a member of the Electoral Committee, “Some explanations were made though unsatisfactory by which time voting had actually started.” He stated that the Electoral Committee “admitted this error” in their Statement No. 019 when they stated that “the situation is regretted but arose because members in the course of Verification did not fully update information on their current Branches and/or sex.” He however noted that “nothing was done to rectify the situation.”

The presidential candidate also alleged that the voters’ register was padded with over 180 voters, saying: “The Addition of Votes Recorded plus Notices yet undelivered amounted to 29,820 which is 185 votes over and above the total number of voters on the Voters Register.”

He also alleged that “the System used for this Election was said to have been registered the very day the Election was to start and MoU was signed on that same day. This was done all alone by the President of the NBA.” He added that “There was no opportunity to interrogate the System before the commencement of the Election in order to determine its vulnerability, security and capacity.”

Adesina has practically rejected the outcome of the election, calling it a “sham.” His words: “I call on you Mr. Chairman and Members of the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association to cancel this sham Election. It is needless to say that if the process is bad, the product cannot be good.”

A similar statement by the Dele Adesina Support Group is fundamentally on all fours with Adesina’s petition. Its list of alleged infractions includes the following:

  1. Failure to release the final voters list within constitutionally prescribed period.
  2. Over 4000 names were without Branches as required by the NBA Constitution.
  3. 86 lawyers were described as belonging to International Diaspora contrary to the provision of the NBA Constitution.
  4. Padding of Voters’ list of some Branches, and reduction in the number of published voters’ list of others. An example is Obollo-Afor Branch which has over 661 names on the voters list when the actual voters list is less than 60.
  5. Several branches had names of hitherto eligible voters removed from the final list.
  6. Several members had their names listed in Branches other than theirs.
  7. Many members have reported that they received notification of confirmation of voting when they neither received voting links nor voted.

At least one candidate for the post of General Secretary also complained bitterly to CITY LAWYER on what is generally perceived as a highly jaundiced voters’ list.

There is no gainsaying that the verified voters’ list as released by the electoral committee was seemingly an anti-climax, as it failed to build on the more robust “final list” released by the ECNBA. Apparently, the “clean up” of the final voters’ list was largely unsuccessful. It also does not seem that the electoral committee’s explanation on the issue fully exonerates it from blame. For example, how does it explain the increase in the number of voters for Obollo Afor by about 600 among sundry gaps.

Also, it is yet to be determined the number of eager and eligible voters who were disenfranchised by non-receipt of voting links either via email or short messaging service. While some of the affected voters contacted CITY LAWYER on the subject, subsequent feedback was not quite satisfactory.

There is no gainsaying that the electoral committee got it right with its appointment of ELECTIONBUDDY, a world class voting management software for the election. The Help Desk was also generally functional.

However, it is instructive that the voters’ list is not only central to any election, but is especially critical for electronic voting given the garbage in-garbage out concept.

It is refreshing that the ECNBA has promised an audit of the election. Hopefully, a comprehensive audit will answer all the posers raised by the stakeholders and pull the association back from another tumultuous era.




The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Dutse Branch has inaugurated a new Executive Committee to pilot its affairs, notwithstanding the appointment of a Caretaker Committee for the branch by NBA President, Mr. Paul Usoro SAN. With Mr. Garba Abubakar as the newly elected Chairman, the new Executive Committee was sworn-in by Mr. Sule Umar, a Notary Public.

Speaking after assuming office as the incumbent branch chairman, Abubakar alleged that acolytes of an influential Bar Leader and former Jigawa State Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice have been destabilizing the branch, adding that the branch would no longer tolerate such meddlesomeness. Abubakar warned the Bar Leader to stay away from the branch or risk having legal action taken against him.

Noting that the peaceful disposition of the outgone Executive Committee – of which he was the Secretary – must not be taken for cowardice, Abubakar alleged that the Bar Leader is not a member of the branch by virtue of Article 13 (4) of the NBA Unified Bye Law for branches, adding that he has “no visible place of practice and residence in the whole Jigawa State.”

The Dutse Branch helmsman warned that the branch would henceforth take steps to stem the alleged meddlesomeness of the Bar chieftain, adding that “In the very unlikely event that he refuses or rather neglects to stop tempering with the peaceful nature and wellbeing of the branch, I would have no further option than to activate the provisions of the relevant laws with a view to restoring the peaceful nature of the branch, and when that is done, the whole world will know where the truth lies as the truth is always on the side of the oppressed.”

He however extended an olive branch to all branch members to join his administration in moving the branch forward, saying: “I am using this medium to extend the hand of friendship and cooperation to those who have any issue or feel offended by any activities of the Branch Executive. It is indeed time to forget our past and go ahead for the progress of our Branch.”

Reeling out his roadmap for the next two years, Abubakar said he would “continue from where my predecessor stopped in the area of fostering unity among members, mentorship for young lawyers as well as capacity building. I will further continue from where the former Executive stopped in the area of partnership with various government agencies and other development partners for the benefit of our branch.

“We will in particular pay much attention to the following areas:

  • Human Capital Development and Welfare Programs.
  • Promoting of All-inclusive Bar.
  • Promoting mandatory continuing legal education.
  • Mentorship scheme and capacity building for young lawyers.
  • Promoting rule of law and good governance.
  • Provision for pro bono legal service for indigent, aged and victims of rape.
  • Creating synergy and collaboration between the branch and any development partners for the development of the branch.”

Speaking earlier, the former branch chairman, Mr. Bashir Usaini outlined the achievements of his administration, noting that while he met only N300,00 in the branch coffers, “I am leaving NBA GTB Account with the sum Two Million Five Hundred and Twenty Five Thousand Naira (N2, 502,500) only.” He urged the members “to support the incoming executive for collective success and peaceful relationship.”

Usoro had in a statement by NBA General Secretary, Mr. Jonathan Gunu Taidi, dissolved the Election Committee set up by the NBA Dutse Branch and constituted a three-member Caretaker Committee to handle the affairs of the branch upon the expiration of the tenure of the branch Executive Committee on 29th June, 2020.

But the branch members argue that the letter appointing the Caretaker Committee was belated and of no consequence, having been delivered after conclusion of the branch elections, with certificates of return issued to the winners.

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