AKPATA DISSOLVES C’TES, TCCP, ECNBA SURVIVE

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Mr. Olumide Akpata has dissolved all Standing and Ad-hoc Committees set up by the administration to run its affairs.

While the Technical Committee on Conference Planning (TCCP) and the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) are not affected by the dissolution announced by NBA Publicity Secretary, Dr. Rapulu Nduka, the administration has also set up a Transition Committee to midwife the incoming regime.

Below is a text of the statement made available to CITY LAWYER.

DISSOLUTION OF ALL STANDING AND AD-HOC COMMITTEES OF THE ASSOCIATION AND CONSTITUTION OF NBA TRANSITION COMMITTEE

Dear Colleagues,

On the inauguration of the present leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association, and in the course of its duties, various Standing and Ad-hoc Committees were constituted to assist in the smooth running of the outgoing administration.

However, ahead of the expiration of the tenure of the outgoing administration, the NBA President on behalf of the National Executive Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association, has dissolved all standing and Ad-Hoc Committees of the Association, with the exception of the Technical Committee on Conference Planning and the Electoral Committee of The Nigerian Bar Association, and further constitutes a Transition Committee.

Members of the Transition Committee include:

1. Paul Harris Ogbole SAN – Chairman
2. Aderemi Oguntoye
3. Bulus Atsen
4. Desmond Ogba
5. Tolu Aderemi
6. Benard Onigah
7. Ovonlen Ebholimen
8. Grace Igyo
9. Ayodeji Oni
10. Kelechi Onwuegbuchulem

The National Executive Committee of the NBA sincerely appreciates the various committees for their hardwork and support for this administration, and charges the Transition Committee to properly discharge their duties in line with their Terms of Reference.

Dr. Rapulu Nduka
Publicity Secretary

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MAIKYAU TO BE SWORN IN, AS GADZAMA BOWS OUT

Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama SAN has again vowed not to appeal the recently concluded Nigerian Bar Association presidential election notwithstanding the resignation en masse of members of the NBA National Election Appeal Committee (NBA-NEAC).

This clears the way for senior lawyer, Mr. Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau SAN to be sworn in as the next NBA President, having been declared winner of the July 16, 2022 election by the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA).

In a press release made available to CITY LAWYER, Chief Chukwudi Oli, a close aide of the ranking Bar Leader, said that “The NBA-NEAC instant resignation is now of no moment and whatever bias this belated attempt aims at curing is long spent and overtaken by event since it is well outside 10 days from the announcement of the election results by the ECNBA within which petitions are to be filed before it.”

Signed by Oli, Director-General of J-K CampaignTeam, the statement noted that “the NBA-NEAC, as with all Standing Committees, is constituted by the President of the NBA, subject to ratification by the National Executive Council. Therefore, a reconstituted NBA-NEAC will no doubt still require the ratification of NEC to lawfully function.”

According to Oli, “If anything, the instant resignation buttresses premeditated and predetermined objectives; for how best can it be explained that the instant resignation is coming well outside of the time limit the NBA-NEAC had itself stipulated in para 3.2 of its “GUIDELINES FOR HEARING AND DETERMINING COMPLAINT(S) FROM CANDIDATES IN THE 2022 NBA NATIONAL ELECTIONS.””

Titled “RE: RESIGNATION OF MEMBERS OF THE NBA NATIONAL ELECTIONS APPEAL COMMITTEE,” the Campaign Team chided the NBA-NEAC members for claiming that the earlier letter to NBA President, Mr. Olumide Akpata was penned by Gadzama, saying that “in the present instance and for clarity, the referenced letter of July 26, 2022, was even neither signed nor circulated by Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama SAN on social media as alleged by the NBA-NEAC.

It also berated the NBA-NEAC members for the tone of their joint resignation letter, saying that “as legal practitioners and conscionable persons, we understand the virtue of being temperate in language and making variable assertions; and therefore make bold to say that expressing reservations about a process, especially in view of the manifest likelihood of bias, cannot and should not be misread as ‘unfortunate, and undeserving’ or ‘most uncharitable’, as was erroneously averred by the NBA-NEAC.”

The Campaign Team stated that “Considering that the notice of the constitution of the National Elections Appeal Committee for the NBA National Election was released on May 21, 2022, every member of the NBA-NEAC had ample notice to recuse themselves, especially where such member(s) has/have a preference as to candidate(s) in the national elections and have manifestly or tacitly, either by their actions and/or inactions, exhibited such.

“We are ultimately charitable to the truth and our convictions for a better bar. It is in itself most uncharitable to refer to such conviction as uncharitable.”

Below is the full text of the statement.

PRESS RELEASE

RE: RESIGNATION OF MEMBERS OF THE NBA NATIONAL ELECTIONS APPEAL COMMITTEE

The letter dated July 30, 2022, from the NBA-National Elections Appeal Committee (NBA- NEAC) to the President of the NBA refers.

In the aforementioned letter, all 9 members of the NBA- NEAC have resigned their membership due to a letter of July 26, 2022, addressed to the NBA President, which the Committee has alleged was purportedly written and circulated on social media by Chief J-K Gadzama, SAN.

The NBA-NEAC also declared that the alleged “mischaracterization” ascribed to some members of the Committee is most “unfortunate, and undeserving”. It further alleged that the comments made by the learned silk in what it called the “globally circulated letter” was “most uncharitable” and thus that its “mass resignation” was due to their “indignation and principled opposition to the uncharitable comments and accusations of Chief J-K Gadzama, SAN”.

To put a method to this, we will be chronological:

1) Firstly, it is well within anyone’s rights to circulate whatever publication of substance they deem fit, in the present instance and for clarity, the referenced letter of July 26, 2022, was even neither signed nor circulated by Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama SAN on social media as alleged by the NBA-NEAC. The referenced letter of July 26, 2022, was ably signed by Chief C.P Oli, the Director General, J-K Gadzama Campaign Team, and co-signed by Mr. O.E Oluwabiyi, the Admin Officer of the J-K Gadzama Campaign Team, and further addressed to the President of the NBA, with the NBA-NEAC in copy. Words and actions should not be arrogated without recourse to factual stream of events. Posterity is always kind to the truthful.

2) Secondly, as legal practitioners and conscionable persons, we understand the virtue of being temperate in language and making variable assertions; and therefore make bold to say that expressing reservations about a process, especially in view of the manifest likelihood of bias, cannot and should not be misread as “unfortunate, and undeserving” or “most uncharitable”, as was erroneously averred by the NBA-NEAC. We are ultimately charitable to the truth and our convictions for a better bar. It is in itself most uncharitable to refer to such conviction as uncharitable.

3) Considering that the notice of the constitution of the National Elections Appeal Committee for the NBA National Election was released on May 21, 2022, every member of the NBA-NEAC had ample notice to recuse themselves, especially where such member(s) has/have a preference as to candidate(s) in the national elections and have manifestly or tacitly, either by their actions and/or inactions, exhibited such.

4) The NBA-NEAC instant resignation is now of no moment and whatever bias this belated attempt aims at curing is long spent and overtaken by event since it is well outside 10 days from the announcement of the election results by the ECNBA within which petitions are to be filed before it. If anything, the instant resignation buttresses premeditated and predetermined objectives; for how best can it be explained that the instant resignation is coming well outside of the time limit the NBA-NEAC had itself stipulated in para 3.2 of its “GUIDELINES FOR HEARING AND DETERMINING COMPLAINT(S) FROM CANDIDATES IN THE 2022 NBA NATIONAL ELECTIONS.”

5) Furthermore, under S.14 (1) (l) of the NBA Constitution 2015 (as Amended in 2021), the NBA National Election Appeal Committee is listed as a Standing Committee. By S.14 (3) (i) of the said Constitution, the NBA-NEAC, as with all Standing Committees, is constituted by the President of the NBA, subject to ratification by the National Executive Council. Therefore, a reconstituted NBA-NEAC will no doubt still require the ratification of NEC to lawfully function.

6) It is against these serious and all-important backgrounds that we restate our commitment to a better bar is as unwavering as the rock of Gibraltar. It is a job that must be done and rightly so.

Long live the Nigerian Bar Association!

Signed:

Chief C. P. Oli
Director-General
J-K Campaign Team 
01/08/2022

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‘NBA ELECTION 2022 MOST SUSCEPTIBLE TO RIGGING,’ SAYS GADZAMA

One of the leading candidates in the just concluded Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Elections, Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama SAN has alleged that ElectionBuddy, the electronic voting platform deployed for the elections, “was highly vulnerable and most susceptible to electronic fraud, rigging and pre-programming of votes.”

In a statement made available to CITY LAWYER, Gadzama also stated that a report by his ICT consultant dated Monday, July 18, 2022 “also shows that there is a high likelihood that the system could be hacked and manipulated.”

He stated that “A follow-up report by my agent dated Wednesday, July 20, 2022 confirms that this occurrence was more than likely,” adding that “I have been advised that this is why the percentage score among all the three Presidential candidates remained within the same range from the commencement of voting till the end. This, as I have been advised, is not human behavior but mechanical.”

Gadzama stated that though one Mr. Mohammed Mustapha, an ICT specialist, had applied to act as the Technical Support Consultant (TSC) to the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA), “the ECNBA did not list his company as one that had applied; rather only two companies were listed before one was selected to provide the consultancy.”

The full text of the statement is below.

PRESS RELEASE ON THE JUST-CONCLUDED NBA NATIONAL ELECTION

Introduction
As you may recall, the National Election of the Nigerian Bar Association (‘NBA’) was concluded on Saturday, July 16, 2022.

My utmost appreciation goes to the members of the Electoral Committee of the NBA (‘ECNBA’) who conducted our election. I respect each of them and commend their efforts. I equally salute all the contestants who vied for various positions.

Pre-Election
It is pertinent to state that before the conduct of the election, my agent – Mr Andrew Madaki tested the vulnerability of the website to conduct the election – electionbuddy.com. The report, which is attached to this release, shows that the website was susceptible to manipulation.

Thereafter, my agent and other agents present raised some of these concerns during the press briefing conducted by the ECNBA on the eve of the election.

Voting
During the conduct of the election, my agent discovered numerous irregularities and expressed same by a letter sent via email to the ECNBA at 2:00 pm. The same is attached to this release. In the email, he reported the frequent timeouts experienced by the site, lack of access to the backend of the server, lack of graphical representation of the results and ultimately requested to audit the election, which the ECNBA promised to provide immediately.

Post-Election
After the conduct of the election, my agent sent a reminder to the ECNBA on Sunday, July 17, 2022 to audit the election and discover if there were more irregularities but same has not been provided by the ECNBA.

After the conduct of the election, my agent engaged another IT specialist to test the server. The report of the specialist which was dated Monday, July 18, 2022 also shows that there is a high likelihood that the system could be hacked and manipulated. A follow-up report by my agent dated Wednesday, July 20, 2022 confirms that this occurrence was more than likely. I have been advised that this is why the percentage score among all the three Presidential candidates remained within the same range from the commencement of voting till the end. This, as I have been advised, is not human behavior but mechanical.

It is important to re-iterate that auditing the election will permit independent parties and agents to discover if there were any technical interferences to usurp the will of the electorate. This access is expected to have been provided immediately after the conclusion of the poll to prevent any party from tampering with the system.

Pre-Qualification of Technical Consultant to ECNBA
On Friday, June 24, 2022, I invited numerous IT specialists to advise me. One of them was Mr Mohammed Mustapha who I asked to provide information security and communication strategy in the just-concluded NBA Election; however, on Monday, June 27, 2022, Mr Mustapha declined my offer as a result of conflict of interest because he had earlier applied to the ECNBA to act as a consultant. After declining my request, Mr Mustapha informed me that although he had applied to be a consultant to the ECNBA before the deadline, the ECNBA did not list his company as one that had applied; rather only two companies were listed before one was selected to provide the consultancy. The two referenced letters are attached.

Also attached to this release are: (i) the notice released by the ECNBA asking for proposals for a technical consultant titled ‘Request for Proposal for Technical Support Consultant to the ECNBA – Submission Reminder Notice’, (ii) acknowledged copy of the bid by Mr Mustapha titled ‘Re: Request for Proposal for Technical Support Consultant to the ECNBA’ received by the ECNBA at 3:35 pm on 22/4/22, and (iii) the notice displaying companies that applied titled ‘Respondents to Request for Proposal for Technical Support Consultant’.

Conclusion
On the whole, and in view of the above facts and attached documents, it is clear that the technology adopted was highly vulnerable and most susceptible to electronic fraud, rigging and pre-programming of votes. I hereby call upon the ECNBA to allow an immediate audit of the election and server.

Dated this Wednesday, the 20th day of July, 2022

____________________________¬¬_
Joe-Kyari Gadzama OFR, MFR, SAN
Presidential Candidate

ENCLS:
1. Vulnerability report dated Sunday, July 10, 2022;
2. Complaint letter dated Saturday, July 16, 2022;
3. Email reminder to the ECNBA on Sunday, July 17, 2022;
4. Vulnerability report dated Monday, July 18, 2022;
5. NBA National Elections 2022: Report dated Wednesday, July 20, 2022;
6. Provision of information security and communication strategy for the forthcoming NBA election dated Friday, June 24, 2022;
7. Re: Provision of information security and communication strategy for the forthcoming NBA National Elections dated Monday, June 27, 2022;
8. Request for proposal for technical support consultant to the ECNBA – Submission Reminder Notice dated April 21, 2022;
9. Re: Request for Proposal for Technical Support Consultant to the ECNBA dated April 22, 2022; and
10. Respondents to Request for Proposal for Technical Support Consultant dated April 25, 2022.

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‘YOUR ELECTION RESULTS ARE CREDIBLE,’ ELECTIONBUDDY TELLS NBA MEMBERS

ELECTIONBUDDY, the Edmonton, Canada based electronic voting platform, has validated the results of the recently concluded Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Elections, saying the results were not tampered with.

In a letter addressed “To the members of the Nigerian Bar Association” and signed by its President, Mr. Dave Bodnarchuk, the company which was contracted by the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) alongside INITS Limited as the ICT Service Provider, stated that “At the completion of the election, ElectionBuddy staff perform limited procedures which includes (sic) review of the voter list, voting process, examination of the results, and inquiries of management. We believe that the review and results of our procedures provide a reasonable basis to confirm our report.

“Based on our reviews, we are not aware of any modifications to the election that would materially impact the electoral outcomes.”

An earlier enquiry to ElectionBuddy by CITY LAWYER did not elicit any response.

Below is the full text of the report.

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‘WHY MAIKYAU CAN’T BE SWORN-IN UNTIL ELECTION AUDIT,’ BY CAROL AJIE

Vocal Bar activist, Dame Carol Ajie has said that Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President-elect, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau SAN cannot be sworn-in alongside other elected National Officers until the 2022 NBA Election is audited.

In a post made available to CITY LAWYER, Ajie canvassed that First Vice President Mrs Linda Bala should take over the mantle of leadership of the association until conclusion of the audit.

CITY LAWYER recalls that the agent of Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama SAN at the just concluded election had written to the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) urging it to audit the election. While the expectation from the Gadzama camp was that the audit would be concluded before announcement of the results, the Electoral Committee brushed aside the demand and proceeded to announce the election results.

Below is the full text of Ajie’s statement.

The Swearing-in is in five weeks. Gadzama SAN should not concern himself with any other office but that of the NBA President which he contested and is in contention.

Lessons from 2016, avoid possible prolongation of dispute by narrowing it to office of President

Electoral Notes:-

1) NBA should proceed on 26/8 as scheduled to swear in all newly elected officers but one that is the Office of the President.

2) The First Vice President Mrs Linda Bala and every other officer but President upon being sworn in Bala should step in for the President as Akpata terms out. No tenure elongation. Mrs Bala might find this task heavy but she has to learn to step in pending result of audit particularly as ECNBA is yet to ask NBA presidential candidates to nominate an audit firm each.

3) All three Presidential candidates will nominate one audit firm per candidate say in a day or two. All three audit firms will meet to review the process, 60,000 approximate voters accredited only 34,000 voted. Because they were denied access covertly or overtly. Why were inaccessible voting links sent to some targeted lawyers. Must resolve these once and for all.

4) In the event of the auditors finding fundamental irregularities, ElectionBuddy has to explain it. If not satisfactorily explained ECNBA ought to cancel the election result for the office of the President and conduct a credible election ASAP.

This is a struggle to save NBA.

Thank you.

Caroline Ajie, LL.M Georgetown
Professor Scholar Juris

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TAIDI CONGRATULATES MAIKYAU, HAILS ELECTION AS CREDIBLE

Congratulatory Message

I congratulate the President-Elect, Mr. Yakubu C. Maikyau, SAN, the General Secretary-elect Adesina Adegbite, Esq and all the newly elected National Officers as well as Members of the General Council of the Bar for a successful election.

The candour throughout the electioneering process is a testament to our collective commitment towards enthroning the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) of our dream in particular and a country built on the Rule of Law, seamless administration of justice and rapid improvement on the welfare of the people generally.

I particularly commend the Chairman and Members of ECNBA whose sleepless nights culminated in a seamless electoral process that has made us proud members of the NBA.

I must thank all my enthusiastic supporters and colleagues who stood committed and kept faith throughout the electioneering process, enabling us to finish strong. Your efforts were not in vain as they sent a strong message of courage, hope and endless possibilities.

I congratulate the entire members of the Bar and urge you all to support the newly elected National Officers in their service to the Association.

Jonathan Gunu Taidi, Esq.
Past General Secretary, NBA & Presidential Candidate

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GADZAMA PETITIONS ECNBA, WANTS NBA ELECTION AUDITED

The controversies that trailed three past NBA National Elections conducted through electronic voting may not abate as Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama SAN has petitioned the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) for an audit of the ongoing election. The election ends by midnight today.

In a petition to the Electoral Committee Chairman made available to CITY LAWYER and titled “Complaints Against Fundamental National Election lrregularities and Non-Compliance in the NBA National Election,” the presidential candidate demanded “a forensic audit of the election and the result logs.”

ECNBA Chairman, Mr. Ayodele Akintunde SAN confirmed receipt of the petition. He told CITY LAWYER that “We have the letter,” adding that “We will review it and take appropriate action.”

Dated July 16, 2022 and signed by an ICT expert and his sole Agent in the ECNBA Situation Room, Mr. Andrew Agbo-Madaki, Gadzama outlined several complaints against the election, saying that at yesterday’s ECNBA stakeholders’ briefing, “several agents complained about the last-minute briefing which did not avail ample time for the agents and IT experts of the candidates to test the voting system and portal.”

He noted that while the electoral umpire had earlier promised that access to live results would be made available to voters, “Only agents in the situation room had access to the live results.”

According to the petition, agents requested backend access to review the voting portal “as required under international best practices, this request was rejected.”

Gadzama stated that “lt is also important to state that despite assurances of the ECNBA and the technology provider INITS limited on the suitability of the voting site www.electionbuddy.com, between the hours of 1am to 3am there were repeated error messages while viewing the live results (error: 502 bad gateway): The HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) 502 Bad Gateway server error response code indicates that the server, while acting as a gateway or proxy, received an invalid response from the upstream Server.”

Alluding that this may have compromised the voting portal, the letter stated that “this makes us question the credibility and efficiency of the portal which promised to handle a 100,000 voter capacity.”

The petition also stated that “Agents and stakeholders were (sic) also requested graphical representation of the results which would show details according to branches. This was not made available during the election period.”

A source at the Gadzama Campaign Directorate told CITY LAWYER that their demand is for an audit that must be conducted before announcement of the election results.

CITY LAWYER gathered that there were occasional outages on the viewing screen at the ECNBA Situation Room which got some agents agitated.

But an ECNBA source told CITY LAWYER that the outages had no impact on the server or the election results, saying: “The idea that 1 LED screen in the NBA annexe somehow controls the balloting is preposterous.

“The system as you may imagine has to do recomputation of displays periodically. I suspect the issue is that whenever the system needs to recompute, the display retreats momentarily while that happens. That is not entirely unpredictable? But, to many of our people, that is ECNBA manufacturing another hike in numbers.”

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EDITORIAL: NBA ELECTIONS 2022 – WHY WE MUST GET IT RIGHT

The ballot for the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Elections will open in a matter of hours to elect National Officers and NBA Representatives to the General Council of the Bar.

This year’s election is especially pivotal given the controversies that have trailed the last three efforts since the introduction of electronic voting and universal suffrage by the amended NBA Constitution 2015.

Since 2016, NBA Elections have spanned between a petition to the NBA Trustees to litigation and criminal prosecution of suspects accused of electoral malfeasance by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). This has brought odium and discomfiture to NBA and its members.

While the allegations that trailed the 2016 and 2018 elections remain somewhat muted, the same cannot be said of the 2020 Election. While several commentators and stakeholders alleged that the election was fraught with sundry irregularities, Mr. Dele Adesina SAN, one of the presidential candidates in the election, accused the defunct Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) of data diddling, saying that “it is apparent that the data uploaded to the site was programmed and preconfigured to achieve a desired result in an obvious case of data diddling.”

The election was also bedeviled by the spectre of huge undelivered ballots, with Adesina again noting that the ElectionBuddy voting platform deployed for the election posted 14,879 total undelivered notices to prospective voters as at 2 pm on Election Day as against 29,635 total registered voters. He contended that “The inability to deliver 14,000 notices to prospective voters 13 hours after the commencement of the Election is not only evidence of lack of capacity on the part of the System but also a clear disenfranchisement of these prospective voters.” It is noteworthy that ElectionBuddy has been contracted by the current Electoral Committee alongside INITS Limited as the joint ICT Service Provider (ISP) for the 2022 NBA Elections.

If Adesina’s claims are deemed by critics as the vituperations of a sore loser, the verdict of the NBA Trustees on the election did not validate such an assertion. Instead, it gave vent to the perception that all was not well with the election.

In a letter dated 19th of August 2020 and authored by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, the Trustees said: “We note that the Elections were not perfect. We reviewed your Petition and note that it raises serious issues.”

The august body observed that “our elections continue to present challenges going back to 2016 and strongly recommend that a major transformation of our electoral process and framework must be undertaken and we are happy to be assigned this very important responsibility….”

In an earlier email by Agbakoba dated 17th August, 2020, the Trustees had stated emphatically that “The NBA 2020 Election was marred by irregularities. The ECNBA admitted that the election platform failed which is why they had to engage another I.T. Consultant. The ECNBA admitted that over 14,000 members could not vote which is an extremely high number. The ECNBA should have made provision to enable everyone to vote. This is an omission on their part.”

It was against this unflattering backdrop that NBA President, Mr. Olumide Akpata, himself a beneficiary of that flawed electoral process, vowed to redeem NBA election from the perennial odium that has enveloped it. He set up the Mr. Ayodele Akintunde SAN-led NBA Electoral Reform and Audit Committee to unravel the challenges besetting NBA elections and proffer solutions.

Instructively, the Audit Committee in its final report returned the same verdict as the NBA Trustees, saying: “Nigerian lawyers were again optimistic that the 2020 Elections would be seamless as all the challenges encountered in the 2016 and 2018 Elections would have been fully addressed.” It however asserted that “that was not the case; like the previous elections, the 2020 Elections was controversial and there were pre-election and post-election issues and challenges.”

Continuing, the Audit Committee said: “INITS’ report revealed that during the elections on the ElectionBuddy platform, there were two major challenges. The first challenge was that based on the traffic and requests for the results between the first and second hour of the elections, voters and viewers began experiencing service degradation.”

The committee also indicted INITS Limited, the defunct ECNBA’s Technical Support Consultant (TSC), noting that “The INITS’ report did not include a Vote-by-Vote Audit Report. The Committee requested for the Report but was not able to obtain it before the submission of this Final Report.” Like ElectionBuddy, INITS Limited has been retained by the Akintunde-led ECNBA as joint ICT Service Provider for the 2022 Election.

Aside from generating a reliable voters register, the transparency of the electoral process has been in issue. The same is true of the election management body. Many analysts believe that Akpata got it right when he appointed Akintunde to spearhead the 2022 Elections, citing his avowed integrity and track record in conducting rancour-free elections at NBA Lagos Branch.

The NBA President had while inaugurating the Audit Committee stated that it (committee) “is already in the process of recommending reform measures to ensure that complaints about the NBA electoral process are significantly minimised.” The NBA Trustees had also committed to oversight electoral reforms.

The NBA Elections 2022 offer an uncommon opportunity not only for the NBA Board of Trustees, Akpata and Akintunde to walk the talk, but for all stakeholders to exhibit candour and good faith in ensuring that the association redeems its unwholesome electoral odyssey. There is no alternative to this desirable prospect.

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ANXIETY, AS ELECTIONBUDDY KEEPS MUM OVER NBA ELECTIONS

ElectionBuddy, the Edmonton, Canada based online voting platform, has kept mum over enquiries on how it plans to ensure transparency in tomorrow’s Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Elections.

CITY LAWYER had yesterday sent an email to the verified email address of the company as well as to the social media handles of some of its ranking officials.

However, while the email was not returned as undelivered and the post to the company’s Messenger handle indicated “seen,” CITY LAWYER did not receive any response from the company at press time.

It is recalled that the NBA Electoral Reform and Audit Committee chaired by current Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) Chairman, Mr. Ayodele Akintunde SAN had in its final report stated that “INITS’ report revealed that during the elections on the ElectionBuddy platform, there were two major challenges. The first challenge was that based on the traffic and requests for the results between the first and second hour of the elections, voters and viewers began experiencing service degradation.”

CITY LAWYER sought to know how the returnee ICT Service Provider would tackle this challenge, moreso as the number of eligible voters has doubled to about 60,000 from 29,632 in year 2020.

Aside from seeking to know the transparency features being put in place by ElectionBuddy for the election, CITY LAWYER also sought to know how the ICT Service Provider plans to deal with alleged data diddling, a charge levied by Mr. Dele Adesina SAN, one of the presidential candidates in the 2020 NBA Elections.

CITY LAWYER equally sought assurances on the safeguards being put in place by ElectionBuddy against hackers, whether there are plans for an independent third-party verification of the electoral process, the specific roles to be played by ElectionBuddy and INITS Limited in relation to their collaboration as joint ICT Service Provider, and whether any framework has been put in place to shore up the high level of undelivered credentials to voters, given that about 14,000 of the 29,632 registered voters were unable to vote during the 2020 Elections due largely to non-receipt of ballots.

Meanwhile, there are strong indications that the Electoral Committee may adopt a similar ICT architecture as the one deployed for the controversial 2020 Elections.

CITY LAWYER investigation showed that the same email address through which voters received results of the 2020 NBA Elections was deployed by ECNBA to send out emails on its “Invitation to Manifesto Day and Presidential Debate” and “ECNBA: Test Message on Elections.”

The Electoral Committee has stated that ballots for the 2022 NBA Elections will be received through the same email address. In its latest release on the election, the committee stated that “Your voting link will be sent at 12.00AM GMT+1 on Saturday July 16 to the email address & phone number registered on your profile on the NBA Portal. Please check your Inbox, Spam, Junk and Trash Folders for a message from ecnba@evm.ng for the email.”

Akintunde however told CITY LAWYER that there is no cause for worry, even as he assured that the ECNBA has scheduled its third and final briefing today at 5 pm to answer all queries from stakeholders relating to the eagerly awaited election.

The full text of the Information Release reads:

Distinguished Chairmen, Learned Colleagues

Ahead of the elections on Saturday 16th July, 2022 commencing from 12:00am, please note that there will be a stakeholders meeting& press conference holding today, Friday 15th July, 2022.

Time: 5pm
Venue: 9 Oro Ago Crescent Garki 312, Abuja FCT

For virtual participation, register using the link below: https://bit.ly/3P8Ung9

Kind Regards,
Secretary ECNBA

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‘ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TOMORROW’S ELECTION,’ BY ECNBA

The Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) has issued details on how it will conduct the 2022 NBA Elections.

In a link obtained by CITY LAWYER, the ECNBA also stated that “Election result will be published on or before 24 hours post election.” However, Mr. Barry McCarty, the Dean of the Hans Denck School of Communication at Truett McConnell University, had while commending the speed with which results of the 2021 American Institute of Parliamentarians meeting voting results were delivered, noted: “A huge upside to electronic voting via @electionbuddy: we are getting the results of votes reported out 20–30 seconds after the polls are closed.”

The Electoral Committee has also provided details of its Help Desk for the election, showing that eligible voters may email the committee at support@evm.ng or call its helpline on 070-8067-2013.

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) also encourage voters to “add ecnba@evm.ng to your contact list to prevent the email from being identified as spam.” 

The committee warned that “If you have not received the message by election day, either your phone number is not registered on your profile or we could not deliver the message to you due to DND that may be turned on.” It encouraged voters to deactivate their Do Not Disturb (DND) functionality in order to facilitate receipt of their voting credentials.

In an earlier Information Release, the ECNBA had stated that “Qualified Voters that experience issues receiving OTP through their email should check their SPAM / Junk Folders and on their phones may have to temporarily disable Do not Disturb (DND) following these steps:

a. 9mobile (Etisalat) numbers, Text START to 2442.
b. MTN numbers, Text ALLOW to 2442.
c. Glo numbers, Text CANCEL to 2442.
d. Airtel numbers, Text ALLOW to 2442  

Though the electoral umpire urged eligible voters to “Please visit www.ecnba.ng to confirm your eligibility to vote,” the ECNBA is yet to publish the final list of verified voters.

To view the video demo by INITS, ECNBA’s ICT Service Provider, click here

Below is the full text of the FAQs.

WHO DO I CONTACT WITH QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS?
All enquiries and questions regarding the NBA 2022 General Elections should be sent to the Election contact center via email at support@evm.ng & helpline: 070-8067-2013

Please include your SCN and Name in your message.
Please see link to detailed instructional text and animated video: go.ecnba.ng

HOW DO I CONFIRM MY ELIGIBILITY TO VOTE?
Please visit www.ecnba.ng to confirm your eligibility to vote.

HOW DO I VALIDATE/RESOLVE MY VOTING RECORDS?
Please visit votersrecordissue.ecnba.ng/ to validate or resolve your voting records.

HOW DO I VOTE?
Your voting link will be sent at 12.00AM GMT+1 on Saturday July 16 to the email address & phone number registered on your profile on the NBA Portal. Please check your Inbox, Spam, Junk and Trash Folders for a message from ecnba@evm.ng for the email.

Kindly add ecnba@evm.ng to your contact list to prevent the email from being identified as spam. Please DO NOT share the link with anyone.

Election will close at 11:59pm GMT+1 on Saturday July 16.
Additional reminders will be sent via email & text messages throughout the day.

I DID NOT RECEIVE MY NOTICE OR VOTING CREDENTIALS
If you have not received the message by election day, either your phone number is not registered on your profile or we could not deliver the message to you due to DND that may be turned on. To find out how to turn off DND, visit go.ecnba.ng and click on “DND”.

WHY IS MY ACCESS LINK NOT WORKING?
Your access link may not be working because:
• you have incorrectly entered it into your browser:
• confirm the access link has been entered correctly, with no additional or missing characters
• you are using an access link from a previous vote; this is more common if you are participating in a meeting with a series of votes:
• confirm you are using a current access link

If you have confirmed your access link is correct, try one of the following options:
• refresh your browser page
• close down your browser and reopen it
• Open a different browser (e.g., if you’re using Chrome, try using Internet Explorer, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, etc.)
• Use an incognito/private browsing window
• use a different device (e.g., if you’re using a computer, try a mobile phone or tablets

HOW DO I CONFIRM MY VOTE WAS RECEIVED?
You will see a confirmation message containing a confirmation code on your screen when you submit your ballot:
Please save your confirmation code in your records!

Your confirmation code:
• Is a unique, 15-character hash
• Cannot be used to identify you or your vote choices, so your anonymity is preserved
• Can be used to verify your vote:
o Has been tallied and included in the results
o Has not been tampered with from the time you voted to when the vote results are shared

A list of confirmation codes will be included with the vote’s results. You can verify your vote by matching your confirmation code to the list.

CAN I CHANGE OR DELETE MY VOTE?
Your vote is tallied and included in the results once you submit your ballot. It cannot be changed or deleted. You can only vote once.

HOW DOES THE ELECTION PORTAL PREVENT OTHERS FROM VIEWING MY VOTING CHOICES?
The Election platform powered by ElectionBuddy automatically uses SSL security for all communications, with 256-bit encryption – the same used by major banks. This means the connection between you and ElectionBuddy’s server is completely secure. When you open the ballot, you can make your choices, and submit your ballot, without anybody being able to see your choices.

WILL MY VOTE BE ANONYMOUS?
Only eligible voters are allowed to vote, however in storing your vote the data is converted to anonymous.

WHY AM I RECEIVING A 404 ERROR MESSAGE?
404 errors are usually due to a miscommunication between your web browser and our server. Try using one of the following options to solve the issue:
• Refresh your browser page
• Close your browser and reopen it
• Open a different browser (e.g., if you’re using Chrome, try using Internet Explorer, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, etc.)
• Use an incognito/private browsing window
• Use a different device (e.g., if you’re using a computer, try a mobile phone or tablet)

Please reach out to the support team if issues persist.

DO I NEED AN ACCOUNT TO VOTE?
You do not need an account to vote! You can access the vote and your ballot using the voting credentials in the notice (email) you received from ElectionBuddy.

WHAT TYPE OF COMPUTER OR SOFTWARE DO I NEED TO VOTE?
You can vote on the NBA 2022 general election on a variety of Internet connected devices, including: Desktop Computer, Laptops, Tablets and Mobile Phones.

You do not need any additional software, apps, or equipment.

WHEN WILL THE ELECTION RESULT BE READY?
Election result will be published on or before 24 hours post election.

ARE MULTIPLE BALLOT FORMATS AVAILABLE?
No!… A single ballot per eligible voter. You cannot vote multiple times.

ARE ELECTRONIC VOTES STORED FOR RECOUNT, INSPECTION AND REVIEW PURPOSES?
Yes!… A comprehensive post-election report will be submitted for audit purposes. The audited election report shall be presented to the election committee and NBA.

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NBA ELECTIONS 2022: WHY 10,000 LAWYERS MAY NOT VOTE

No less than 9,051 lawyers may be barred from voting when the ballot opens next Saturday for the 2022 Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Elections.

CITY LAWYER investigation shows that these are the number of lawyers who are yet to verify their personal details in order to be included in the final voters register soon to be published by the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA).

In fact, the Electoral Committee warned yesterday that unless the lawyers take the last window of opportunity to verify their data, they would not be able to vote during the election.

An Information Release made available to CITY LAWYER by the committee states that “FOR THE RECORD, THIS IS THE FINAL EFFORT BY ECNBA TO ENABLE THIS SUBSET OF QUALIFIED VOTERS PARTICIPATE IN THE FORTHCOMING ELECTIONS.”

Titled “FINAL EFFORT TO ENSURE DATA ACCURACY OF SOME QUALIFIED VOTERS” and signed by Mr. Ayodele Akintunde SAN and Mabel Ekeke, ECNBA Chairman and Secretary respectively, the statement noted that “This information release is made further to the several publications, subsequent resolutions of complaints and the outcome of the TEST messages sent by the ECNBA’s ICT Service Provider on Saturday, 25 June 2022 to qualified voters.

“The ECNBA’s TSC has identified a subset of the data within the qualified Voters list that require further validation or correction of their emails and phone numbers to enable them to receive their ballots in the forthcoming elections holding on Saturday, 16 July 2022. The ECNBA therefore requires all qualified Voters on the list accompanying this Information release to follow the under listed steps for a further and final validation:

a. Visit the validation portal at https://votersrecordissue.ecnba.ng

b. Type your enrolment number in the box provided, click “Validate” and your name will be displayed to you along with your email and Phone number intentionally masked to comply with data protection law.

c. If you recognize the records to be yours, click “Validate” button beside the email and phone number one after the other, an OTP message will be sent to you, which you are required to enter to validate the record and a green tick box will be displayed next to each record, thereafter, click Close to complete the process.

d. However, if the record displayed is not accessible to you or unknown, click the edit button to supply and validate your email, Phone number, Branch, Year of Call as well as uploading a visible photo or scanned copy of any ONE of the following government issued forms of identifications, (i) Nigerian Driver’s License, (ii) International Passport Data page (iii) Voters Card, (iv) National ID Card, the supplied information will be reviewed and if acceptable will be updated otherwise rejected. e. Please note that voters records that do not require further validation are not available on this validation portal.

f. This portal will open from now till 11.59pm on Friday 8th July 2022 strictly for this purpose.

2. Qualified Voters that experience issues receiving OTP through their email should check their SPAM / Junk Folders and on their phones may have to temporarily disable Do not Disturb (DND) following these steps: a. 9mobile (Etisalat) numbers, Text START to 2442. b. MTN numbers, Text ALLOW to 2442. c. Glo numbers, Text CANCEL to 2442. d. Airtel numbers, Text ALLOW to 2442

3. FOR THE RECORD, THIS IS THE FINAL EFFORT BY ECNBA TO ENABLE THIS SUBSET OF QUALIFIED VOTERS PARTICIPATE IN THE FORTHCOMING ELECTIONS.”

The NBA Election is scheduled to hold on Saturday, July 16, 2022 to elect National Officers and NBA Representatives in the General Council of the Bar.

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NBA DECIDES: EDE ASENOGUAN URGES ELIGIBLE VOTERS TO VERIFY

FINAL VERIFICATION

The ECNBA has graciously extended the verification exercise for 48 Hours Only!

Are you verified to vote on Saturday 16th July, 2022?

If No? Click on the link below and enter your SC Enrolment Number.

https://votersrecordissue.ecnba.ng/

PLEASE NOTE : If you are eligible to vote, this link WILL NOT work for you; That is, if you have paid your BPF this year, if you have already been verified before or automatically verified after paying your BPF.

So please don’t panic if the link is showing invalid on the above accounts, it just means you are eligible.

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NBA PRESIDENCY: ENDORSEMENT WAR RAGES, AS BAR LEADERS BACK GADZAMA, MAIKYAU

An endorsement battle seems to be raging among the leading presidential candidates, CITY LAWYER can authoritatively report.

Bar Leaders among others are currently lining behind their preferred candidates in the hope that this will sway eligible voters to tag along.

Each endorsement is celebrated by the campaign organisations with flashy flyers highlighting the testimonial about the candidate.

CITY LAWYER observes that the endorsements are not limited to the presidential candidates, as some candidates especially for national offices have also been receiving testimonials from close aides and associates.

Among those who have thrown their weight behind the presidential aspiration of Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama SAN are incumbent Ondo State Governor and former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu SAN; former Chairman of the Body of Benchers, Chief George Uwechue SAN; foremost human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana SAN, and former Deputy Director-General of the Nigerian Law School, Prof. Ernest Ojukwu SAN.

Others are leading chartered arbitrator, Prof. Paul Obo Idornigie SAN; Messrs Zik Obi and Chuks Ikokwu, both former Presidents of Otu Oka Iwu (Law Society), the umbrella body of lawyers of Igbo extraction; Chief Martin Ogunleye, former Chairman of NBA Lagos Branch; Mr. Sylvester Udemezue, a Lecturer at the Nigerian Law School, and Hadiza Nasir Ahmad, former member of NBA Electoral Reform and Audit Committee.

On his part, Mr. Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau SAN has garnered endorsements from equally eminent Bar Leaders including Mrs. Hairat Ade-Balogun OON, a Life Bencher; foremost arbitrator and former NBA Treasurer, Mrs. Funke Adekoya SAN; former Chairman of NBA Legal Profession Regulation Review Committee, Dr. Anthony Idigbe SAN, and Mallam Yusuf Ali SAN, pioneer Chairman, NBA Section on Legal Practice (SLP).

Others are Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN; Chief Adebayo Adelodun SAN; Mr. K. K. Eleja SAN; Prof. Wahab Egbewole SAN; former NBA General Secretary, Mazi Afam Osigwe SAN and Mr. Abdul Mohammed SAN

An aide of Taidi told CITY LAWYER that “We need to take our time to compile the list. I have asked our team members to work on it.” He was yet to revert at press time.

The NBA Election is scheduled to hold via electronic voting on Saturday, July 16, 2022. The election will be conducted on ElectionBuddy voting platform in collaboration with Finesse Technology Limited.

The presidential candidates will tomorrow go head-to-head in a hybrid Presidential Debate organized by the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA).

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GADZAMA, MAIKYAU, TAIDI TO CLASH, AS ECNBA HOLDS DEBATE JULY 7

The Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) will on Thursday, July 7, 2022 hold a “MANIFESTO DAY AND PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE” to herald the 2022 NBA Elections for National Officers and NBA Representatives at the General Council of the Bar.

In an Information Release made available to CITY LAWYER, the Committee stated that “As part of the electoral process, the ECNBA invites members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to the Manifesto Day and Presidential Debate fixed for 10 am, Thursday, 7 July 2022 at the Auditorium NBA House, Plot 1101 Cadastral Zone Central
Business District, Abuja FCT.

“Ahead of the event, members are enjoined to send their question(s) to info@ecnba.ng. Please note that the link for virtual participation will be circulated in due course.”

A further release urged lawyers who plan to attend the debate in-person to register at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdTUuNEOSFZwix5qRCqpfrELg0K5Nbrg17k__3co1-Kq_wp9g/viewform.

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

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WE WILL NOT EXTEND VOTER VERIFICATION – ECNBA

The Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) has foreclosed reopening of the verification process for eligible voters in the forthcoming NBA Elections, CITY LAWYER can authoritatively report.

Some stakeholders including one of the leading candidates for the position of General Secretary, Mr. Desmond Yamah, had called on the committee to extend the exercise to enable some eligible voters who are having challenges to verify their data.

But an unimpeachable source told CITY LAWYER that the verification exercise has been foreclosed, adding that the committee has moved on to the next stage of the electoral process.

Said the source, “No extension. We are in another phase of (verifying) accuracy of phone numbers and emails.”

It is recalled that the committee had in its last notice urged eligible voters to verify their details on the database, saying, “As a matter of urgency and importance, we are enjoined to make out time to get verified to enable us cast our votes at the upcoming National Elections of the NBA. The deadline for the Verification is today 27/6/2022.”

The election of NBA National Officers and representatives to the General Council of he Bar is scheduled to hold on Saturday, July 16, 2022.

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DESMOND YAMAH HAILS ECNBA, WANTS VOTER VERIFICATION EXTENDED

Desmond Yamah, candidate for the office of the General Secretary, has appealed to the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) to extend the date for verification of eligible voters.

Yamah observed that many of the eligible voters are still struggling to verify their data on the NBA website after several attempts.

His words: “We appreciate the enormous responsibilities and the challenges of the ECNBA but the verification exercise is a test of the level of preparedness for the elections.

“I sincerely thank the ECNBA for a great job thus far.”

Desmond Yamah Esq.

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‘I’M EAGER TO HEAR FROM YOU,’ ISAAC OGBAH TELLS STAKEHOLDERS

Good afternoon learned silks, distinguished learned seniors and fellow colleagues of this noble legal profession.

My name is Isaac Omuta Ogbah, a candidate for the 3rd Vice President of the NBA in the forthcoming July 16th NBA National elections.

And as a precondition for campaign, all candidates for the various elective positions were mandated to submit their respective CV’s as well as their manifestos to ECNBA for approval and which have been since uploaded into the ECNBA official website.

Kindly use the above link to access all relevant information about myself and manifesto as published by ECNBA, while we look forward to ECNBA publishing other campaign materials that I submitted to them for necessary publication.

I look forward to hearing from you regarding any question, suggestion and enquiry regarding my 3rd Vice President of the NBA candidature. I solicit your support in every way possible towards making me the next 3rd Vice President of the NBA come the 16th day of July, 2022.

I celebrate you now and always. God bless you all.

Isaac Omuta Ogbah

https://www.ecnba.ng/ogbah-isaac-omuta 

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ECNBA HOLDS STAKEHOLDERS’ PARLEY TOMORROW

The Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) is set to hold its second “ECNBA Stakeholders’ Briefing and Press Conference” tomorrow at 4 pm.

A notice made available to CITY LAWYER by the committee reads:

Learned Colleagues,

We invite you to the ECNBA Stakeholders’ Briefing and Press Conference on Friday, 24 June 2022 by 4pm to discuss important electoral matters including the electronic magazine and campaign regulations amongst others. We look forward to interacting with you.

Kindly click on the link below to register and attend the conference.

https://tinyurl.com/ECNBA-Press-Briefing

PS – After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar

#nbadecides2022 #nba #election #2022 #ecnba 

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ECNBA OPENS VOTER VERIFICATION PORTAL, SETS JUNE 27 DEADLINE

The Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) has set Monday, June 27, 2022 as the deadline for eligible voters to get their names on the final voters list, CITY LAWYER can report.

According to a statement by the electoral umpire, “failure to identify any error as regards the names, phone numbers, and email addresses, Supreme Court Number, or omission of names from the list by an Eligible Voter before 27 June 2022 can no longer be rectified and will remain the same.”

The full text of the notice reads:

FINAL REMINDER – FULL LIST OF MEMBERS QUALIFIED TO VOTE

The ECNBA pursuant to the provisions of the Second Schedule Part IV (9) and V (4) of the Constitution of the Nigerian Bar Association 2015 (as amended), released information pertaining to the full list of members qualified to vote on 31 May and 6 June 2022 respectively. Please see these documents at https://www.ecnba.ng or www.nigerianbar.org.ng.

This serves as a reminder to members of the Association that paid their bar practising fee (BPF) as of 31 March 2022 (Eligible Voters), to confirm the accuracy of their emails and phone numbers on the NBA website on or before Monday 27 June 2022. Please note that this verification process is important, as unique voters’ credentials will ONLY be sent to valid phone numbers and email addresses.

2. Thus, Eligible Voters are expected to verify their BPF contact information. Please follow the step-by-step process below:

➔ Visit the NBA website: https://nigerianbar.org.ng
➔ Click on the Membership tab and then scroll down to “BPF Payment Status”;
https://nigerianbar.org.ng/nba/bpfv2/check_status
➔ Type in your enrolment number (SCN), and
➔ Click on “Verify” and the one-time password (OTP) will be sent to your phone and email.
➔ Type in the “OTP” and
➔ click “Validate” and your contact information will be successfully validated.

PLEASE TAKE NOTE that the list to be published by the ECNBA after this notice shall be the Final List. Hence, failure to identify any error as regards the names, phone numbers, and email addresses, Supreme Court Number, or omission of names from the list by an Eligible Voter before 27 June 2022 can no longer be rectified and will remain the same.

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ECNBA UNVEILS CANDIDATES’ MANIFESTOS FOR ELECTION

The Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) has unveiled the manifestos of all the candidates for the forthcoming NBA Elections.

While the electoral umpire unveiled the manifestos of candidates for the National offices under the heading, “FULL LIST OF CANDIDATES FOR ELECTION OF NATIONAL OFFICES,” candidates for the position of NBA Representative at the General Council of the Bar were unveiled under the heading, “FULL LIST OF CANDIDATES FOR ELECTION OF NBA REPRESENTATIVES TO THE GENERAL COUNCIL OF THE BAR.”

The unveiling gives the electorate an opportunity to closely study the candidates with a view to choosing their preferred candidates for the election scheduled to hold on July 16, 2022.

CITY LAWYER recalls that several aspirants were disqualified by the electoral committee. All the decisions were upheld by the NBA National Election Appeals Committee tribunal.

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TRIBUNAL BARS 4 MORE ASPIRANTS FROM NBA ELECTIONS

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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‘WHY WE DISQUALIFIED FELIX ASHIMOLE,’ BY NBA APPEALS COMMITTEE

The strident quest by Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Publicity Secretary aspirant, Mr. Felix Ashimole (aka Che Oyinatumba) to participate in the forthcoming NBA Elections has finally been laid to rest by the NBA National Appeals Committee, CITY LAWYER can authoritatively report.

In a decision obtained by CITY LAWYER, the Appeals Committee affirmed its positions in similar cases that the inability of the aspirant’s nominator to provide certain document dealt a fatal blow to his aspiration to join the NBA National Executive Council.

This lays to rest the controversy that has trailed Ashimole’s disqualification by the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA), as he argued that the committee had not determined his appeal, having not communicated its decision to him.

Said the Appeals Committee: “Since there was no evidence before this Committee by the Petitioner of attachment of payment receipt by Mr. Mohammed Iyorember Tsav of the 2021 Branch Dues, to the Appellant’s nomination form, which is a prerequisite for a valid nomination, the decision of the ECNBA to disqualify him was in order and validly made.”

Putting the matter beyond doubt, the Appeals Committee held: “Therefore, this appeal lacks merit and ought to be dismissed and it is accordingly dismissed.”

The decision was signed by Mrs. Olufunmilayo Roberts and Mr. Augustine Ajineh, the committee’s Chairman and Secretary respectively.

The NBA Elections hold on July 16, 2022.

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ANXIETY, AS 2 US FIRMS, OTHERS BATTLE FOR E-VOTING ROLE FOR NBA ELECTIONS

Two United States based Information and Communication Technology (ICT) service providers are battling to be hired by the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) to provide the electronic voting platform for the all-important NBA Elections, CITY LAWYER can authoritatively report. The other bidders are VATEBRA Limited and Africa Prudential.

However, while the Virginia based leading E-Ballot Voting Services has submitted a direct bid to deploy its voting platform for the elections, CITY LAWYER reliably gathered that INITS Limited is presenting ElectionBuddy, the ICT provider for the controversial 2020 NBA Elections, as its partner. While acting as the ICT Service Provider, INITS Limited will deploy ElectionBuddy e-voting platform for the elections. INITS Limited was the Technical Support Consultant (TSC) for the 2020 NBA Elections.

In a notice by the ECNBA, it said: “We wish to invite any member of the Association who has any reason why the foregoing entities should not be engaged as Information Communication Technology Service Provider by the ECNBA, to contact us by email (info@ecnba.ng) with all relevant facts in that regard by or before 11:59pm Tuesday 7 June 2022.”

CITY LAWYER recalls that in a Final Report dated March 16, 2021 and submitted to NBA National Executive Committee (NBA-NEC), the Ayodele Akintunde SAN-led NBA Electoral Audit and Reform Committee noted that the service providers for the controversial 2020 NBA Elections “were Tavia Technologies (“Tavia”) as primary election platform provider and ElectionBuddy as secondary election platform provider. INITS was the technical consultant.” Akintunde is the Chairman of the 2022 ECNBA.

In a damning indictment of the 2020 Elections, the committee stated that “Nigerian lawyers were again optimistic that the 2020 Elections would be seamless as all the challenges encountered in the 2016 and 2018 Elections would have been fully addressed,” noting however that “that was not the case, like the previous elections, the 2020 Elections was controversial and there were pre-election and post-election issues and challenges.”

Continuing, the Audit Committee said: “INITS’ report revealed that during the elections on the ElectionBuddy platform, there were two major challenges. The first challenge was that based on the traffic and requests for the results between the first and second hour of the elections, voters and viewers began experiencing service degradation.”

In a searing indictment of the Technical Support Consultant, the NBA Electoral Audit and Reform Committee noted that “The INITS’ report did not include a Vote-by-Vote Audit Report. The Committee requested for the Report but was not able to obtain it before the submission of this Final Report. It will contain the following details:

a. Voter;
b. Ballot Open Time;
c. Ballot Submission Time;
d. IP Address;
e. Position; and
f. Selected Candidate /Abstention.”

The Audit Committee had warned that “The challenges highlighted above are continuous occurrences which have plagued the electoral processes and if not resolved, will persist.”

The ECNBA is set to announce its choice of ICT service provider as the elections draw near.

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ECNBA ISSUES FINAL LIST OF CANDIDATES, ASHIMOLE DISQUALIFIED

The Nigerian Bar Association National Election Petitions Committee has now disqualified controversial NBA Publicity Secretary aspirant, Mr. Felix Ashimole aka Che Oyinatumba from participating in the forthcoming NBA Elections, paving the way for Messrs Ogaga Emoghawanre and Habeeb Akorede Lawal to slug it out for the post.

A document obtained by CITY LAWYER shows that the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) has also listed the canidates that will do battle at the elections.

The list is below.

ECNBA_FINAL LIST

https://citylawyermag.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/ECNBA_FINAL-LIST.pdf 

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IDRIS DOKO, AKPETO, ONAKOYA BARRED FROM NBA ELECTIONS BY APPEALS C’TE

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) National Election Appeal Committee has dismissed three more appeals filed by disqualified aspirants for the 2022 NBA Elections, CITY LAWYER can authoritatively report.

Among those who have had their fate sealed as regards contesting the elections are NBA 1st Vice President aspirant, Mr. Muhammad Idris Doko; his counterpart for the office of NBA 3rd Vice President and former Chairman of NBA Sapele Branch, Mr. Promise Besinginwayemi Awolowo Ademi-Akpeto, as well as an aspirant for the General Council of the Bar (GCB), Mr. Femi Onakoya.

It is recalled that the National Appeals Committee headed by prominent chartered arbitrator, Mrs. Funmi Roberts had earlier dismissed an appeal by Mr. Finian Eze Ndukwu, an aspirant for the post of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) 2nd Vice President.

The committee has so far upheld all the decisions of the Ayodele Akintunde SAN-led Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) on qualification of aspirants for the eagerly awaited elections.

In the decision on Ndukwu’s obtained by CITY LAWYER, the committee stated that the sole issue for determination was “Whether upon consideration of the omissions in the Appellant’s Nomination Form constituting the basis for the rejection thereof and his disqualification thereby, the Appellant’s appeal is not devoid of merit and liable to being dismissed.”

It held that “It is therefore, our finding that the failures or omissions by the Appellant, his Nominator and Seconder in filling in those fundamental pages, portions, spaces, columns etc in the Appellant’s Nomination Form are not mere irregularities but failure to fulfil or supply to the ECNBA, facts/answers that would have aided ECNBA to determine his eligibility or otherwise for the position of office of the 2nd Vice President of NBA, in the 2022 General Elections.”

“We are in full agreement with the submissions by the ECNBA at page 2 lines 13, 21, and 24 of its Reply to the Appellant’s Appeal, that having failed to proffer answers to questions vii, viii, x, xi, xii, xiii, xiv, xv, xvi, xvii, and xviii of his Nomination Norm, which would have demonstrated his eligibility under the provisions of Part VIII(c), (d), (e) of the Second Schedule and Section 4(a), (b), (c), of the Constitution, the ECNBA was right to have rejected the nomination of the Appellant, and in consequence of that rejection, disqualify the Appellant pursuant to part I, paragraph 6, Second Schedule to the Constitution of the NBA2015, as amended in 2021.”

Bringing its final hammer on the quest by the aspirant to reverse the decision of the ECNBA, the Appeals Committee said: “The Appellant’s contention that he should have been notified of the errors, and that by not notifying him, his right to fair hearing is breached, is of no moment.

“The ECNBA is not clothed with such vires and more so, the Appellant was given the same opportunity as other aspirants to fill the Nomination Form properly, before submitting them. In Ayoade vs State (2020) 9 NWLR (pt 1730) 577 ratio 3 at pages 583 – 584, the Supreme Court held that:

“A party cannot and should not complain of breach of his right to fair hearing where he refused to avail himself as in the instant case, of the opportunity provided under the law to present his case. Darma Vs Eco Bank Plc. (2017) 9 NWLR (pt 1571) referred to………” See also C.M & E.S Ltd. (2020) 1 NWLR (pt 1704) 70 ratio 8 at page 78.

“It is upon the foregoing that this Committee resolves the sole issue against the Appellant and accordingly, his Appeal is hereby dismissed for lacking merit.”

It is recalled that the Appellant, an aspirant to the office of 2nd Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA/Association) in the 2022 National Elections of the Association, was disqualified by the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) for failure to fill pages 4, 5, and 6 of the Nomination Form, and that his Nominator and Seconder did not fill pages 10 – 12 and 16 – 18.

The NBA Election is scheduled to hold on July 16, 2022.

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NBA APPEALS C’TE DISMISSES VP ASPIRANT’S CASE

An appeal by an aspirant for the post of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) 2nd Vice President has been dismissed by the Nigerian Bar Association Appeals Committee headed by renowned chartered arbitrator, Mrs. Funmi Roberts.

The decision on the appeal filed by Mr. Finian Eze Ndukwu may also be a pointer to how the other appeals by other disqualified aspirants may be resolved by the committee.

In the decision obtained by CITY LAWYER, the committee stated that the sole issue for determination was “Whether upon consideration of the omissions in the Appellant’s Nomination Form constituting the basis for the rejection thereof and his disqualification thereby, the Appellant’s appeal is not devoid of merit and liable to being dismissed.”

It held that “It is therefore, our finding that the failures or omissions by the Appellant, his Nominator and Seconder in filling in those fundamental pages, portions, spaces, columns etc in the Appellant’s Nomination Form are not mere irregularities but failure to fulfil or supply to the ECNBA, facts/answers that would have aided ECNBA to determine his eligibility or otherwise for the position of office of the 2nd Vice President of NBA, in the 2022 General Elections.”

“We are in full agreement with the submissions by the ECNBA at page 2 lines 13, 21, and 24 of its Reply to the Appellant’s Appeal, that having failed to proffer answers to questions vii, viii, x, xi, xii, xiii, xiv, xv, xvi, xvii, and xviii of his Nomination Norm, which would have demonstrated his eligibility under the provisions of Part VIII(c), (d), (e) of the Second Schedule and Section 4(a), (b), (c), of the Constitution, the ECNBA was right to have rejected the nomination of the Appellant, and in consequence of that rejection, disqualify the Appellant pursuant to part I, paragraph 6, Second Schedule to the Constitution of the NBA2015, as amended in 2021.”

Bringing its final hammer on the quest by the aspirant to reverse the decision of the ECNBA, the Appeals Committee said: “The Appellant’s contention that he should have been notified of the errors, and that by not notifying him, his right to fair hearing is breached, is of no moment.

“The ECNBA is not clothed with such vires and more so, the Appellant was given the same opportunity as other aspirants to fill the Nomination Form properly, before submitting them. In Ayoade vs State (2020) 9 NWLR (pt 1730) 577 ratio 3 at pages 583 – 584, the Supreme Court held that:

“A party cannot and should not complain of breach of his right to fair hearing where he refused to avail himself as in the instant case, of the opportunity provided under the law to present his case. Darma Vs Eco Bank Plc. (2017) 9 NWLR (pt 1571) referred to………” See also C.M & E.S Ltd. (2020) 1 NWLR (pt 1704) 70 ratio 8 at page 78.

“It is upon the foregoing that this Committee resolves the sole issue against the Appellant and accordingly, his Appeal is hereby dismissed for lacking merit.”

It is recalled that the Appellant, an aspirant to the office of 2nd Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA/Association) in the 2022 National Elections of the Association, was disqualified by the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) for failure to fill pages 4, 5, and 6 of the Nomination Form, and that his Nominator and Seconder did not fill pages 10 – 12 and 16 – 18.

The NBA Election is scheduled to hold on July 16, 2022.

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‘WE WILL DISQUALIFY ANY CANDIDATE IF ….,’ SAYS ECNBA CHAIR

  • ‘WE HAVE NO ANOINTED CANDIDATE’

The Chairman of the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA), Mr. Ayodele Akintunde SAN has warned that the committee will not hesitate to disqualify any candidate who breaches the guidelines for the forthcoming NBA Elections.

Meanwhile, the ECNBA Chairman has vowed that the committee is not under any pressure to favour any candidate during the election, saying: “We have no anointed candidate and nobody can thrust any candidate on us.”

Speaking at the maiden hybrid “Stakeholders Briefing and Press Conference” for the elections, Akintunde urged the candidates to abide by the electoral rules set out in the NBA Constitution, adding that “If the Constitution prohibits any act, we will apply sanctions.”

Emphasizing that “this is a clarion call” to all candidates especially as the electoral committee had restated the guidelines in letters and notices to the candidates, the ECNBA helmsman said: “Don’t look for loopholes to exploit.”

Akintunde also said that voters may be able to watch the voting process online real-time via the ECNBA dashboard, adding that the electoral umpire would make the dashboard “open to the public” as well as the candidates or their representatives. This would however depend on the guidance to be provided by the ICT service provider.

Responding to a question on the appointment of Finesse Integrated Technologies Limited as the Technical Support Consultant (TSC) to the electoral committee given that the company performed the same function in the controversial 2018 NBA Elections, Akintunde revealed that the technology company played a minimal role in the election, adding that it was brought in after the original ICT company was disengaged by the electoral umpire.

The ECNBA Chairman stated that in line with the NBA Constitution, petitioners do not have a right of audience with the Election Appeals Committee, even as he assured that the committee “attended to each and every petition. We are not court or LPDC or LPPC. But we deliberated as a committee and unanimously agreed on the decisions we took.”

Akintunde assured that there would be verification of the election results before publication, though he said that an audit could only be done in line with the NBA Constitution and after release of election results.

Adding his voice to the issue, ICT expert and ECNBA member, Mr. Basil Udotai noted that authentication of ballots has become a part and parcel of modern electronic voting, adding that post-election reports would be produced by the ICT service provider.

On his part, fiery human rights activist and former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Chidi Odinkalu chided those who sought to impugn the electoral committee on disqualification of some aspirants. He warned candidates to desist from acts that may breach the electoral guidelines, saying: “If you breach the rules, we will disqualify you. People should seek to do what is proper.”

Other members of the electoral committee who participated in the parley include Ms. Mabel Ekeke and Ms. Aisha Ado Ibrahim, ECNBA Secretary and member respectively. The NBA Election is scheduled to hold on July 16, 2022.

CITY LAWYER also noted that many candidates attended the briefing. These include 2nd Vice President candidate, Mr. Cement Ugo Chukwuemeka, Amanda Asagba (3rd Vice President), Funmilola Adeogun (Treasurer), Caroline Ande-Bishop (Treasurer), Mr. Churchil Aniekwena, Mr. Habeeb Lawal (Publicity Secretary), Mr. Daniel Kip and Mr. Dhikrullah Balogun.

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‘WHY WE DID NOT DISQUALIFY MAIKYAU’ – ECNBA

The Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) has given reasons why it did not disqualify one of the leading presidential candidates, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau SAN from contesting the forthcoming NBA Elections.

In a letter obtained by CITY LAWYER and addressed to embattled Bar aspirant, Mr. Kayode Bello who wrote a petition to the electoral committee seeking the disqualification of the senior lawyer, the ECNBA ruled that it “has no jurisdiction over the complaint, as the subject matter of the petition is pending before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (“LPDC”) the competent statutory body for adjudication.”

Dated May 27, 2022 and titled “2022 ELECTIONS OF NATIONAL OFFICERS OF THE NBA – RESOLUTION OF PETITION DATED 2 MAY 2022,” the electoral committee referred to Bello’s petition dated May 2, 2022 “and the response to the petition received from Mr. Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, SAN, FCIArb (“the Respondent”) dated 12 May 2022.”

In the letter which was copied to Maikyau, the electoral umpire noted that Bello had “requested that the ECNBA disqualifies the Respondent from contesting for the office of the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).”

The ECNBA stated that it “has considered the petition and the response to same,” adding that aside from the jurisdictional hurdle which it was unable to surmount, “the power of the ECNBA to disqualify a person who wishes to contest for an office shall only crystallizes (sic) after a conviction of crime by a court of competent jurisdiction or if the candidate is found guilty of misconduct or professional impropriety by the LPDC by virtue of Part VII(e) and (f) Second Schedule of the Constitution.”

Sounding the death knell on Bello’s petition, the electoral committee wrote: “Consequently, your petition fails.”

In a petition addressed to the ECNBA Secretary and copied to CITY LAWYER, Bello had urged the ECNBA “to suspend the candidature of Mr. Y. C. Maikyau as the NBA presidential Aspirant, pending the determination of the disciplinary case against him at the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) for his misconduct.”

Restating his grouse, Bello wrote: “In summary, Mr. Y.C. Maikyau who stands as presidential aspirant for the office of the NBA President in the forthcoming NBA election has lied to the LPPC that I did not show up at the Nigerian Law School for my Bar Final examination and he has used his office and position as the Senior Advocate of Nigeria to frustrate the reconciliation process between the Council of Legal Education and myself (Kayode Bello).

“The fact that Mr. Y.C. Maikyau lied to the LPPC that I did not or refused to show up for my Bar final examination in 2017 is/was tantamount to perverting justice and conspiracy to disobey the order of the Court.”

Maikyau however denied all the allegations in his response to the electoral body.

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‘REVERSE MY UNREASONABLE DISQUALIFICATION,’ ASHIMOLE BEGS APPEAL C’TE

RE: 2022 ELECTIONS OF NATIONAL OFFICERS OF THE NBA AND NBA REPRESENTATIVES TO THE GENERAL COUNCIL OF THE BAR – NOTICE OF DISQUALIFICATION.

1. The email of disqualification was received in my spam today, 28th day of May 2022.

2. That I am contesting for the office of Publicity Secretary and duly completed a nomination form in that respect and not the office of Assistant General Secretary as indicated in the disqualification letter.

3. That on May 10th May, 2022, I was invited for a Zoom meeting for further screening. At this Zoom meeting, I did not meet any Committee member but was interrogated by two ladies, who told me that my sealed form had been opened in my absence, no video of the opening made or shown to me.

4. They informed me that 2021 Local Due Receipt of my 1st nominator, Mr. Mohammed lyorember Tsav, the immediate past chairman of NBA Bwari, my Branch, did not attach local Branch Due of 2021.

5. That my response was that I am shocked at this and asked the ladies, what should I do in the circumstance? They told me that the Committee will get back to me.

6. That I re-sent the said mysteriously missing due to the Committee via info@ecnba.ng. The copy of the email is annexed as F1.

7. That ECNBA did not reply my email, did not send me any letter, did not send any SMS or WhatsApp message to me.

8. That ECNBA instead forwarded me a petition by one Mr. Kayode Bello, a law school drop out. I responded to the said petition but ECNBA, did not communicate to me the outcome of my response to Mr. Bello’s petition.

9. That I never received any letter of disqualification from ECNBA when other candidates received or were cleared.

10. That on 27th May,2022, I sent an email to ECNBA asking what is my status, whether I am qualified or not, having not received any letter from ECNBA.

11. ECNBA merely sent me a copy of the reply they sent to Mr. Bello telling him that his petition had no merit and was dismissed.

12. That today 28th May, 2022 after I wrote to ECNBA on 27th May, complaining of the list “List of Properly Nominated Candidates” ECNBA sent me an email, of notice of disqualification for the office of Assistant General Secretary, dated 20th May, 2022, giving me 7 days to appeal to Appeal Committee.

Dear Sir, It is against equity and good conscience to disqualify me as Assistant General Secretary contender instead of the post of Publicity Secretary, which I am eminently qualified for.

13. That the disqualification sent to me is mischievous and not in compliance with the NBA Constitution and Electoral Guidelines published by ECNBA. That the non-submission of receipt of a nominator who paid is not a constitutional condition to disqualify me as my nominator paid as when due like me.

14. I hereby humbly pray to you the Appeal Committee, to reverse this unjustifiable, uncalled for, unreasonable decision of ECNBA to disqualify me for an office I did not apply for.

15. I further pray that you compel ECNBA to declare me as qualified, fit and proper candidate for the office of Publicity Secretary and not Assistant General Secretary as contained in the letter of disqualification sent to me, having met all requirements and re-submitted Mr. Mohammed lyorember Tsav’s mysteriously 2021 local due, which I duly submitted along with other documents in a properly sealed envelope.

Accept the assurances of my highest professional regards.

© Felix Chukwuma Ashimole, Esq.

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‘WHY WE DISQUALIFIED FELIX ASHIMOLE FROM NBA ELECTION’ – ECNBA

* I HAVE NOT RECEIVED ANY NOTICE FROM ECNBA – ASPIRANT

An aspirant for the position of Publicity Secretary in the forthcoming Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Elections, Mr. Felix Ashimole has been disqualified, CITY LAWYER can authoritatively report.

The Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) however dismissed a petition by embattled Bar aspirant, Mr. Kayode Bello, saying that he “failed to provide sufficient evidence” in support of his petition.

However, there is a cloud of uncertainty on whether the aspirant actually received the notice of disqualification from the ECNBA. The aspirant vigorously denies receiving any email from the electoral committee.

CITY LAWYER investigation indicates that while the ECNBA actually dispatched an email to the aspirant, there may have been an error in the email address.

It was gathered that while the aspirant’s correct email is oyimnatumba92@yahoo.com, the Notice of Disqualification was actually sent to oyimnatumba29@yahoo.com.

A source at ECNBA headquarters vowed that the error was “an honest mistake,” adding that “There is no foul play. Our Secretary is trying her best in dispatching correspondence. A mistake can happen.”

Giving reason for disqualifying the aspirant, ECNBA had stated that Ashimole’s Nominator did not provide evidence of payment of his Branch Dues for 2021, even as CITY LAWYER gathered that the aspirant failed to provide a satisfactory answer to the irregularity at the further screening interview with the electoral committee.

It was unclear at press time whether the aspirant would appeal his disqualification.

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COPYRIGHT 2022 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. To ADVERTISE in CITY LAWYER, please email citylawyermag@gmail.com or call 08138380083. 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.