NBA presidential aspirant, Mr. Tobenna Erojikwe has objected to the shortlisted companies chosen by the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) to serve as election platform service providers for the upcoming NBA Elections in July 2024.

In a letter dated April 29th addressed to the ECNBA Chairman, Erojikwe outlined his concerns regarding the transparency of the selection process and questioned the ability of the four shortlisted firms to successfully conduct an election of the scale and significance of the NBA presidential polls.

The shortlisted firms are Zoracom Ltd., INITS Limited., Aberdeen Strategies, and AppsInception.

The news release reads: “A major point raised by Erojikwe is the lack of detailed information provided to aspirants and members about the companies shortlisted and their technical bids. Beyond the names of the companies and addresses, no data has been shared on their respective capacities, election management experience, ownership structures, or any subcontracting arrangements.

“Erojikwe argued that access to such crucial background is necessary for stakeholders to make a fully informed assessment of the shortlisted providers’ qualifications to credibly handle an election of over 100,000 voters nationally. He has formally requested that the ECNBA provide more details regarding the respective bids of the shortlisted companies.

Experience Gap for High-Stakes Election
“While awaiting the requested information, the presidential aspirant expressed doubts that any of the shortlisted firms currently demonstrate proven experience of independently conducting an election operation on the scale and complexity required for the NBA presidential vote.

“Pointing to the controversies, litigation, prosecution, and arrests related to irregularities in recent past NBA elections in 2016 and 2018, Erojikwe stated that ‘Given the high stakes involved, we cannot entrust such a delicate task to an entity that does not have the track record of having conducted such elections locally and internationally.’

“His letter claims that a due diligence review found none of the shortlisted companies meet the criteria of adequate global election experience. Erojikwe also noted that one of the firms shortlisted was the vendor during the last elections but was supported by an international firm that provided the platform during the last NBA election cycle.

Call for Proven Experts
“Based on his objections, Erojikwe has urged the ECNBA to ensure that only globally-proven election services companies (or service providers working in collaboration with them) with expertise managing large-scale national elections across multiple regions are considered.

“He argued that given the ‘low integrity quotient’ in our country and the likelihood of election disputes proceeding to litigation, the NBA’s credibility is on the line with selecting an experienced platform provider.

“The ECNBA previously stated that the shortlisting and request for comments were aimed at ensuring an impartial, internationally-compliant election after the challenges of past cycles.

“With this objection letter, a leading presidential candidate has now raised doubts about the transparency and rigour of the bidding process to select the critical election platform technology.

“It remains to be seen how the electoral committee will respond to Erojikwe’s demands for more vetting and disclosure around the qualifications of the shortlisted providers to conduct an election of this magnitude.”