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A SENIOR lawyers have called for a credible election of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) national officers.
The electronic voting will begin at 11pm on Wednesday and hold for 24 hours.
Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) Chairman, Mr Tawo Tawo (SAN), at a briefing, assured stakeholders and members that the exercise would be free and fair.
Dr Babatunde Ajibade (SAN), Deacon Dele Adesina (SAN) and Mr Olumide Apata are running for the office of NBA president. There are candidates for other offices.
Tawo said: “We are going to deliver a free, fair, credible election for the association. We are aware that other professional bodies are watching us and we believe that at the end of the day, our profession will take its pride of place.”
A former NBA President, Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN), noted that a credible NBA poll would give the association a stronger moral voice.
“We had criticised other people in the past. It is now left for us to show them how to do it well,” he said.
Another former NBA president, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), said he only wants the best for the association.
“We have to be careful not turn the NBA to a typical Nigerian political party,” he said.
A former NBA Ikeja Branch Chairman, Adesina Ogunlana, vowed to challenge his “wrongful” disqualification from contesting for the NBA president.
Ogunlana, Chairman of the Radical Agenda Movement in the NBA (RAMINBA), faulted a Lagos High Court verdict upholding the ECNBA’s contention that he failed to obtain a Letter of Good Standing from the then Chairman of his Branch, Dele Oloke.
Ogunlana told reporters in Lagos that the requirement in Section 8(3) (c) the NBA Constitution 2015 was unconstitutional, adding that the court misdirected itself.
“I have instructed my counsel to obtain the Certified True Copy of the said ruling and in due course, I will challenge same accordingly,” he said.
The ECNBA last Monday said it had verified 30,000 voters and engaged an online technology expert to secure the votes.
But the RAMINBA, according to Ogunlana, said it foresaw “chaos in the election” over “the vexatious issue of rigging and manipulation of the electronic voting method…”
It added: “We categorically demand that to rest this vexatious issue of electronic voting manipulation and rigging, the exercise should be decentralised with same to be conducted at Branch levels before central collation at the national level.
“We also call for the abolition of rotational Presidency on tribal arrangements as it currently exists.”
The Egbe Amofin (an association of Yoruba lawyers), and the Arewa Lawyers Forum (ALF) had endorsed Adesina’s candidature.
ALF Secretary Mohammed Monguno, in a letter to his Egbe Amofin counterpart, said: “I have the honour to hereby convey our adoption, endorsement, satisfaction and the unanimous acceptance of the candidature of Mr Dele Adesina (SAN) for the office of the President of the NBA in the forthcoming July 2020 Election.”
A former NBA president, Joseph Daudu (SAN), also endorsed Adesina, a former General Secretary of the association.
In a statement, Daudu urged members to elect Adesina on the account of his experience, integrity and maturity.
“The Nigerian Bar again has a unique opportunity to right its keeling ship of state with this impending election. If, however, the wrong hands are brought on board, the ship will no doubt sink and disappear underwater,” he said.
It is the turn of the Southwest to produce the president.