• Vows Orbih, not Mozia, was Appointed ECNBA Chair • Writes Alegeh for ‘Clarification’ • ‘We were unable to observe elections,’ says NDI • GADZAMA V NBA: Lawyers, Others React The controversy trailing the recent Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) elections has refused to abate as Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama (SAN), a presidential candidate in the elections, has leveled a fresh allegation against the NBA leadership. In a letter dated Friday, August 5, 2016 and addressed to the NBA President, Mr. Augustine Alegeh (SAN), Gadzama alleged that though Chief Ferdinand Orbih (SAN) was appointed chairman of the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) at the NBA National Executive Committee meeting held in Jos on February 18, 2016 Mr. Kenneth Mozia (SAN) was “unilaterally appointed” by Alegeh to replace him in “flagrant violation” of the NBA Constitution. CITY LAWYER has now obtained the letter by the National Democratic Institute for International Relations (NDI) where the body denied that it monitored the NBA Elections, saying it was “unable” to do so. Meanwhile, lawyers and non-lawyers have been reacting to the CITY LAWYER report on the filing of a lawsuit by Gadzama challenging the outcome of the elections. Gadzama had made good his threat to sue NBA over the association’s general elections held on July 30 and 31 this year by instituting a lawsuit at the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja challenging the outcome of the elections. Mahmoud was declared winner of the election with total 3055 votes while Gadzama polled 2384 votes. But Gadzama had rejected the result, saying in his statement of claim that “contrary to the result declared by the 8th Defendant, at the close of voting, at 12:00 midnight on Sunday, 31st July, 2016, the result of the 2016 Nigerian Bar Association Election as it relates to the office/position of the President, as collated from and contained on the official voting domain/platform was as follows: Joe-Kyari Gadzama – 2,963; Abubakar B. Mahmoud -2,465.” This was as deduced by his ICT experts who conducted forensic audit of the poll. He had at paragraph 37 of his 102-paragraphs long Statement of Claim stated as follows: “The Plaintiff further pleads that the National Democratic Institute which the 8th Defendant (Mozia) claimed would be monitoring the election and testing the integrity of the e-voting systems was either not invited or refused to authenticate the election.” Defendants in the suit are Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim (SAN), CON; Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), OFR; Chief Thompson Joseph Onomigbo Okpoko (SAN), OON; Chief (Mrs) Priscilla Kuye; Alhaji Murtala Aminu, OFR and Chief Anthony O. Mogboh (SAN), all registered trustees of the NBA as 1st to 6th Defendants. While “The Incorporated Trustees of Nigerian Bar Association” and Mr. Kenneth Mozia (SAN) are listed as 7th and 8th Defendants respectively, Mr. Oluwaseun Ajoba, Secretary of the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA); Hajia Safiya Balarabe; Mrs. Amaka Ezeno, and Mrs. Eucharia Pepple who are all members of the ECNBA are sued as 9th to 12th Defendants. Grace Infotech Limited and NBA President, Mr. Augustine O. Alegeh (SAN) are listed as 13th and 14th defendants while Mr. Abubakar B. Mahmoud (SAN), Gadzama’s opponent at the polls, is the 15th Defendant. In the letter titled “Request for clarification on the appointment of Mr. Kenneth Mozia, SAN as Chairman of ECNBA” and personally signed by Gadzama, he alleged that Orbih was “duly appointed” at the NBA NEC meeting in Jos “which I attended and participated in my capacity as a NEC member.” The NBA presidential candidate stated that Orbih “thereafter declined the said appointment some weeks later and you unilaterally appointed Mr. Kenneth Mozia, SAN as the ECNBA in flagrant violation of the NBA 2015 Constitution.” Gadzama contended that he spoke with the NBA President on the matter “where you personally confirmed to me that Chief Ferdinand Orbih, SAN had resigned his appointment,” adding that “This fact is also in public domain as you also communicated the same position to several other members of the Bar.” Continuing, the Life Bencher stated that it was surprising that Mozia’s name appeared as the ECNBA Chairman in the minutes of the Jos NEC meeting which was presented at the Benin NEC meeting held on June 16, 2016. “Significantly, the appointment of Mr. Kenneth Mozia, SAN which was unilaterally done by you,” he said, “was not ratified or in any way approved by the National Executive Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association as can be clearly seen from the minutes of the NEC meeting held in Benin on Thursday, 16th June, 2016 which I also attended.” In a subtle demand for an explanation, Gadzama said :”Flowing from the fore-going, it is imperative that you clarify the propriety or otherwise of the appointment of Mr. Kenneth Mozia, SAN as the Chairman of ECNBA in line with the NBA Constitution as you indeed owe all concerned members of the Bar particularly NEC members, an explanation.” It was unclear at press time whether the NBA leadership has responded to Gadzama’ letter. Meanwhile, in its response to an earlier letter by Gadzama seeking clarification on the role it allegedly played during the elections, the NDI stated that although it was invited to monitor the elections, the “NDI was unable to observed the 2016 NBA Elections because the request came too late to be factored into our planning.” The letter was dated 8th August, 2016 and signed by one Francis Madugu, NDI’s Programme Officer (Elections). Also leading lights of the Bar among others have been reacting to the CITY LAWYER report on the lawsuit brought by Gadzama. According to fiery Bar activist, Dame Carol Ajie, the doctrine of res sub-judice should prevail, with all parties staying action pending adjudication of the matter before the court. Her words: “To NBA, with humility and respect to all the parties, they made their money, name and fame both presidential contenders outside of NBA – one was CBN external Solicitor i.e. ABM the other was BPE external Solicitor etc. They could do without being sworn-in as NBA President temporarily in August 2016. Let our democracy grow.” Noting that neither she nor several other Bar activists monitored the polls, Ajie said: “I plead with the parties to wait! National Democratic Institute couldn’t validate it as fair, free and credible.” Senator Abubakar Sodangi (SAS) stated that “It is either justice to be done to us by the court, as our only and last hope or I retire from NBA politics or (from) participating in any of its activities, including branch participation. God save NBA.” On his path, former National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Director-General, Otunba Lanre Ipinimisho stated that “They are so used to doing it and getting away with it that they did this last one with impunity and reckless abandon. These (sic) pack of lies will soon land them in unprecedented embarrassment.” An ardent Gadzama supporter, Pastor Emmanuel Oluwabiyi also added his voice to the unfolding debacle, saying: “Can you imagine what the people we entrusted our Association to did to our psyche? They even lied against an international elections monitoring organization like National Democratic Institute (NDI) that now needed to be denying our very respected Association.” Former NBA Legal Adviser, Mr. Victor Nwaugo said: “Let the action start. Impunity must stop. We have learnt nothing from PH (Port-Harcourt) crisis. The beneficiary of the corrupt election has not condemned it. He is part of it and hopes to extend it except if stopped. Ride on Gadzama.” Nwaugo had sworn to an affidavit alleging partisanship on the part of Alegeh. One Mike Assoh was even more dramatic, as he declared that the lawsuit was “worth dying for.” His words: “This is heartwarming & worth dying for. Posterity will crucify us if we look away in the face of brazen impunity such as this. Our Presido-Elect, I commend you for this bold step; match on, we’re solidly behind you. Shalom.” But their views were countered by pro-Mahmoud lawyers. according to Mr. Ibrahim Mark, nothing should imperil the inauguration of Mahmoud as the next president of the NBA. Quoted by Ajie, he asserts that the Mahmoud’s inauguration could proceed notwithstanding the lawsuit, adding that he would abide by the outcome of the lawsuit. He also argues that the res (NBA) would not be imperiled or destroyed if Gadzama is decalred winner of the elections. An influential ally of Mahmoud, Mr. Olumuyiwa Olowokure posed several questions in attempting to discredit the lawsuit, saying: “‘Forensic audit’, with which materials, from what sources and in whose presence? ‘IT experts’? Where were they before the elections? Eleven SANs? He needs One Hundred and Eleven. Won by 498 votes? Sounds like PDP/APC political gymnastics, are you sure he didn’t say he won by 12 two thirds?” Mrs. Chinwe Ezenwa Mbah, former 1st Vice President of Otu Oka-Iwu, an Igbo law society, said: “I think we should learn to be sportsmen in everything and move on. I give kudos to the organisers of that election. My take is that for the first time in years, greater number of lawyers voted compare to the selected handful that use to go and are bought over as delegates and they vote away our future over a porridge. The ratio of lawyers that voted will be more than ten times the delegates that use to vote. There are bound to be pitfalls being a new system, but are the errors forgivable, yes.” Non-lawyers also weighed in on the controversy. According to Mr. Arinze Anapugars, “Let the fireworks begin. There are sufficient grounds to think something untoward may have happened.” One Femi Odu queried why Nigerians could not organise a “seamless election irrespective of the organization?” Answering his own poser, he said: “Well it is because it’s always about self and what contestant stands to gain.” On his part, one Tony Achi said: “Lawyers! Lawyers!! Lawyers!!! The keepers of the temples of justice. We the unlearned are keenly watching the learned.” OTHER LAWYERS REACT Ademola Adewale: “We are lawyers and should not shy away from litigation. May justice be served.” Christy Egere: “We have to move on it should not be a do or die desire we that voted are not born to always vote for others. It wouldn’t have been more credible if the other aspirant won. We are peace maker by profession. God will help us to actualize our dreams before the end of life time. So for those who didn’t scale through be sportsmen and let’s move on.” Christian Tom: “Should the process of the declared win be marred by irregularities of that extent? Shouldn’t it be transparent? Whether it is Chief Gadzama or not, it is high time Nigerians get things done rightly using the Bar election as a model.” Kashim Amodu: “They are scared! They know they have done wrong. Jk we want! Not an imposed candidate.” Dauda Sunama: “We’re watching!” Williams Mshelia: “Can u imagine….” Joseph Felix: “Injustice and nepotism must stop, JK go on taste the veracity of the purported victory, Jesus shall bring out the truth.” Tanze Makama: “This is a good fight worthy of fighting to its logical conclusion. we must commend chief J-K for seeking to bring sanity to nba by this court action instead of blaming him for washing our very very dirty linens in public. a small vested interest murdered sleep, let the world see the travesty they perpetrated. fight on J-K, the voice of the masses in the NBA.” Yusufu Mugu: “This is the beginning of better electoral procedures ahead .It is a case of d NBA. The professional apex body. Who else? What else? Gadzama, pls hold – on and hang-on to the truth ‘The international best practices.’ Good luck.” Ozioma Izuora: “Look at d photo of d announcement of d concocted results! Ali Baba and d Forty Thieves!!” Isah Abubakar Aliyu: “Show some respect for your elders Mrs. Ozioma Izuora.” Ozioma Izuora: “And who, would my elders be, young man? How about YOU start by realizing I’m NOT certainly your mate?” Tanze Makama: “When elders misbehave, do we lick their boots and say well done?” Damon Nandam Dashe: “A worthy cause fight on, we are in sync with you on this…. same (sic) to the bar.” Emmanuel Dabo: “Our solidarity forum from Jos, for J-K has not extinguished with that so called mischievous result, NBA had spoken, our mandate can’t be stolen & scot free without being challenged in the law court.” Vaatsav Ternam Benson: “We are behind you with prayers for victory.” Source: City Lawyers ]]>

[Now On Sale] Book On “International Arbitration & ADR And The Rule Of Law”

Price: ₦15,000 or £20 per copy [Hard Back– 20 chaps/715 pages] Contact Information Email: info@idrinstitute.cominfo@adrinafrica.org WhatsApp only: 0803-703-5989 Voice Call – Mobile: 0817-630-8030,+234-805-2128-456, +234-909-9651-401 Landline: 09-2913581, +234-9-2913499, +234-9-2919209 Office Address: 50 Julius Nyerere Crescent, [Next To The World Bank], Asokoro, Abuja – Nigeria. Bank Account DetailsBank Name: UBA Plc.; Account Name: International Dispute Resolution Institute; Account Number: 1014072579