A presidential candidate at the just concluded Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) election, Dele Adesina, has called for the cancellation of the exercise.
Adesina came third in the election where a former chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law (NBA-SL), Olumide Akpata, was declared the winner.
Shortly before the result of the election was announced, Adesina, who was the former NBA general secretary, had called for the cancellation of the polls, alleging gross manipulation. He alleged that there was over voting and disenfranchisement of some voters.
Also in Adesina’s new petition dated August 2 and addressed to the chairman of the body of trustees of NBA, Olisa Agbakoba, he said the process leading to the election and the election itself showed instances of lawlessness and gross violation of the NBA constitution.
He said pre-election concerns that were raised by some candidates and members of the association were neglected and disregarded by the electoral committee.
According to Adesina, the election was “riddled with electronic fraud” while the electoral server was “loaded with predetermined data”.
He said the conduct of the election is not only a “violation of all the known values” of the profession but is also capable of bringing disgrace and dishonour to the association and the legal profession.
“The concerns raised included: inflation and injection of names into the Voters List of Abuja Branch, illegal use of Stamp and Seal payment as a basis for compilation of Voter’s Register, lack of information regarding the Service Provider and the Election portal, the security of the NBA Website and the serial violations of the provisions of the NBA Constitution,” he said.
“It is significant to note that the system used for this election was said to have been registered the very day the election was to start, and the MoU was signed on that same day.”
He alleged that the verified voters’ list, which must be made available to branches not later than 28 days to the election date, was only released by the electoral committee five hours to the commencement of the election.
The senior lawyer said 4,464 names of purported lawyers on the voters’ list were not ascribed to any branch. He added that some members found their names in branches they do not belong while the list of some branches was inflated.
“Upon the receipt of the Verified Voters List published about five (5) hours to the commencement of the 2020 NBA Election, my team and I after a painstaking perusal of the List observed that the List was manipulated, doctored and padded to achieve preconceived intentions and other grave errors of omission and commission,” he said.
In his petition, he also alleged that the data uploaded to the site was “programmed and preconfigured to achieve a premeditated result in an obvious case of data diddling”.
Adesina further accused the election committee of not providing any information about the service provider “such as to enable the parties interrogate in order to determine its vulnerability, security or capacity to have the confidence or otherwise in the system”.
“The entire election looked like it was a personal show or project of the incumbent President including selection/appointment of service providers et al,” he said.
“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.
“If the election process is wrongful and unconstitutional, the outcome must suffer the same fate and be cancelled,” Mr Adesina said.