* Set To Conduct Elections Under The 2003 Old Bye Laws

The tussle for the chairmanship of the Lagos Branch of the NBA has begun. Three candidates have so far indicated interest for the number one office of the Branch. They are: Mr. ChukwukaIkwuazom, Mr. Chukwuma Ezeala and Mr. John Duru.

Other positions to be contested for are, the office of the 1st Vice Chairman, 2nd Vice Chairman, Secretary, 1stAssistant Secretary, Social Secretary, Financial Secretary, Treasurer, and Ex officio.

So far, some persons have also indicated interest in running for the other offices in the Lagos Branch of the NBA. Apart from the office of the Chairman, three persons have also indicated interest in running for the office of the first Assistant Secretary, one for the office of the first vice chairman, and two for the office of the second vice chairman, one for the office of the social secretary and one for the office of the secretary.

Below are the names of the candidates, their profile and the various offices contested for:

Chairman:
Chukwuka Ikwuazom
Chukwuma Ezeala
John Duru

1st Vice Chairman:
Obele Akinniranye

2nd Vice Chairman:

• Okey Ilofulunwa
• Jeffery Eboh

Secretary:
Ikechukwu Uwanna

1st Assistant Secretary:
• Emuobonuvie Majemite
• George Ukwuoma
• Moshod Abiola

Social Secretary:
• Antonia Eke

Financial Secretary:
• Carol Obi :

Treasurer :

• Foluke Akinmoladun
• Joy Nzube

Ex Offico :
• Nnamdi Oragwu

The said election which is settled to be conducted under the NBA Lagos Branch Old byelaws of 2003. This for sure is a direct contradiction to the directives of the NBA president. Recall that in an address made by the president of the NigerianBar Association (NBA), Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud, OON, SAN, FCIARB (UK), SFNLI at the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held at Lokoja, Kogi State on the 1st day of June, 2017, the president of the NBA warned the Lagos Branch against conducting its oncoming elections under the old bye laws and that any election conducted outside the 2015 constitution would not be recognized. The president made this clear when speaking under the sub-head “The NBA Constitution and Discipline in the Bar.”
According to him:

“My attention has been drawn to the development in the Lagos Branch which has decided to take a position contrary to the position of the national body. The branch was said to have voted to revert to previous branch bye laws contrary to the 2015 NBA Constitution. This position was taken despite the ongoing efforts of the national leadership of the association to find a resolution of the problem. This is unacceptable. Any election or activities conducted not in conformity with the 2015 NBA Constitution shall not be recognized by the NBA. I therefore caution against any belligerence that will undermine the unity of the bar. The country needs a strong legal profession with a strong voice and this is not the time for us to consume the association with our internal bickering. I urge all of us to tread cautiously. No one is greater than the NBA and every branch must cooperate with the National body and indeed other branches to work around problems and agree collective solutions.”

The words of the president sounded a grave note of warning to the Lagos Branch for the need to follow the guidelines of the NBA constitution recently registered with the CAC. Following the above statement, observers in the Legal Community were settled that the Lagos Branch would take a u-turn from its earlier resolution. Nonetheless, contrary to what was anticipated, a prominent attorney in the Lagos Branch by name Carol Ajie,made what seems to be the Lagos branch’s stand with respect to the oncoming elections.

The learned counsel stated expressly that the Lagos branch will never conduct her oncoming elections in line with the 2015 constitution.The gentleman in skirt also went further to state that the Lagos Branch had resolved not to attend the NBA conference coming up around August because of the exorbitant prices for registration.

The resolution of Lagos Branch was born after a committee was set up to advice the Branch on the best option to take with respect to the oncoming elections, after the nullification of the 2015 Constitution of the NBA by the Federal High Court.

As it is currently, it is obvious that the NBA house is not yet put in order following complaints from all corners of the legal community in Nigeria with due regard to the current crisis in the Association. While spectacle waits for the outcome of the rift between the Lagos Branch and the NBA nation body to be settled or resolved, it is undisputable that the NBA Lagos branch is set to conduct its election under the Old byelaws of the NBA.

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