CMM earlier reported that the NBA Elections was concluded today and Akpata emerged as the winner.
However, there were several objections to the results and protests took place to express disapproval.
A presidential candidate of the NBA filed a lawsuit to Challenge the outcome of the Elections.
Dele Adesina wrote;
“THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION 2020 NATIONAL OFFICERS ELECTION PETITION AGAINST THE MANAGEMENT OF THE ELECTORAL PROCESS
The above subject matter refers.
I am one of the presidential candidate for the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in the ongoing National Officers Elections and I forward this petition in this regard. Upon the receipt of the verified voters list published about five hours to the Elections, my team and I, after a painstaking perusal of the list observed that the list contained grave errors of ommission and commission including but not limited to the following:
- names of purported lawyers without branches ascribed to them from serial number 25171-29615
- names of lawyers under the subheading “international Diaspora” from serial number 12182-12268. A clear violation of the provision of the constitution of the NBA
- Inflation is the list of some of branches. For instance, Obollo-Afor Branch on the Final List for verification had only 39 names on the list from serial number 30424-30462. Strangely, this increased to 662 on the verified list
- Deletion of names of members removed from the final list
- Many members names found their way to branches other than their own branch. I took this matter up in a telephone discussion with the other two presidential candidates; Dr. Babatunde Ajibade and Olumide Akpata Esq. and a preferred suggestion was made that the matter be taken up informally with the committee members in the interest of the integrity of the Association. In furtherance of this, I raised the above issues with the president of the NBA and a member of the electoral committee. Some explanations were made though unsatisfactory by which time voting had actually started. The electoral committee admitted this error in their statement No. 19 when
they said among other things 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.” Yet, nothing was done to rectify the situation. In addition to the above, several observations and protests have been made by different members of our Association which questions the integrity of the process as well as the result of the process. Some of the protests received from different branches are as follows:
Very many members particularly the branches in the west, like Ibadan and Ado-ekiti did not receive the link to vote and some of those who received the link could not vote. The same protest came from several branches in the north like Gombe, Katsina, Birni-Kebbi, Yobe and Kaduna. The same complain was lodged vehemently by members from Branch in Enugu Several cases of disenfranchisement by members whose names were not on the list. A senior advocate of Nigeria who contacted the helpline to Lodge his complaint was told that it’s because he did not have his SAN’s number. Query, is SAN’s number a requirement?Issues were also raised on the Security of the NBA membership portal. On the 9th of July 2020, a letter was forwarded to the chairman of the electoral committee raising several issues on the need for a credible voters list and the need to know the service provider with a view to interrogate the process. This letter was flagrantly ignored by the committee
Issues were also raised on the security of the NBA Membership portal.
On the 9th July 2020, a letter was forwarded to the chairman of the Electoral Committee raising several issues on the need for a credible voters list and the need to know the service provider with a view to interrogate the process. This letter was flagrantly ignored by the committee.
As at the time of writing this statement, at 2:00 pm, the system confirmed the following figures:
Total Registered voters: 29,635
Total votes cast(including those who abstained): 14,941
Total undelivered Notices to prospective voters: 14,879
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.
It is also significant to note 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.
There was no opportunity to interrogate the system before the commencement of the Election in order to determine its vulnerability, security and capacity on the part of the system but also a clear disenfranchisement of these prospective voters.
I call on you Mr. Chairman and members of the Electoral Commission of the NigerianBar Association to cancel this sham Election. It is needless to say that, if the process is bad, the product cannot be good”