A presidential candidate in the just concluded Nigerian Bar Association election, Dele Adesina, has petitioned the Body of Trustees of the association, alleging gross manipulation in the polls.
Olumide Akpata had defeated the duo of Adesina and Babatunde Ajibade at the election to emerge the 30th President of the NBA.
In the petition addressed to the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Association, Adesina claimed that the election was marred by over-voting, disenfranchisement of some eligible voters and non-compliance with the provisions of the NBA constitution.
He said the verified voters’ list was only published about five hours to the commencement of voting contrary to the provision of the NBA constitution (2015) as amended, which provided that the list be released not later than 28 days before the election.
He further said he was one of the builders of the association before “some of the god-fathers who are plunging the NBA into avoidable crises today ever became involved in the affairs of the Association”.
He said, “I have herein complained of both the process leading to the Election and the Election itself which show instances of lawlessness and gross violation of the NBA constitution. Disregarding the law is worse than corruption. The end product of lawlessness is condemnation and destruction.
“I urge the members of the Board of Trustees of the NBA to intervene and right these wrongs and save the NBA from condemnation and destruction. I believe that leaders must do things right and/or ensure that things are done right. It is needless to say, Mr Chairman and other members of the Board of Trustees of the NBA, that if the process is wrong, the product cannot be right. If the election process is wrongful and unconstitutional, the outcome must suffer the same fate and be cancelled.
“Since 2016 when this electronic voting system started, there have been consistent allegations of system manipulation and rigging which has resulted in litigation over NBA elections. As at today, a criminal action arising from the NBA Election of 2018 is still pending at the Federal High Court. This is a shame to all of us without exception. Patriotism must guide our aspirations and our conscience must always be our companion. The time has come to regain the integrity of the Nigerian Bar Association by putting an end to unconstitutional and fraudulent elections in our association.”