SW Lawyers’ Forum rejects NBA election results, calls for electoral reforms

THE Egbe Amofin (South West Lawyers’ Forum) has announced its rejection of results of the recently concluded Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) elections, calling for electoral reforms within the legal association.

The position of the Forum is contained in a communique signed by Adeniyi Akintola, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and  Oluwole Akintayo, Chairman, Steering Committee and  Secretary of the Forum, respectively, following a meeting held on Saturday, August 1.

The South West lawyers argued that the 2020 election of NBA national officers was conducted in breach and flagrant violation of mandatory provisions of the NBA Constitution and its Electoral Guidelines.

They noted that the creation of an International Diaspora Branch of the NBA for voting was strange to the Constitution, adding that over 4000 ‘voters’ appeared on the emergency voters’ list in the concluded elections.

The Forum further identified eight other ‘material particulars’, against the NBA Constitution, which it stated occurred during the elections which held between 11.00 pm on July 29 to 11.00 pm.on  July 30.

It alleged that over 4000 ‘voters’ appeared on the emergency voters’ list used for the election noting that the ghost voters have no identifiable branches and are not linked or traceable to any branch.

Besides this, it further alleged large scale disenfranchisement of a significant number of lawyers, adding that about 13,000 verified or accredited voters didn’t vote.

The total number of verified/accredited voters was 29,000, it spelled out, the Forum said.

In its submission, the Forum disclosed that the Egbe Amofin “unreservedly condemns, the deliberate, calculated, blatant and arrogant breach of the NBA Constitution and Guidelines” during the elections.

Olumide Akpata emerged as the new president of the NBA during the election which is now being contested.

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Before the Forum’s rejection of the election result,  Dele Adesina, one of the aspiring presidential candidates of the elections had called for cancellation of the results, alleging that the election process was marred by over-voting, disenfranchisement of eligible candidates and non-compliance with the provisions of the NBA constitution.

A total of 29,636 lawyers were accredited for voting across the country in the electronic poll, according to the Electoral Committee of the NBA but 17,437 ballots were submitted at the close of voting which accounts for 59 per cent of voters representation, The ICIR had earlier reported.

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