A former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja branch, Mr Adesina Ogunlana, has vowed to challenge the verdict of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja, which affirmed his disqualification from the NBA presidential race.
Nigerian lawyers, under the aegis of the NBA, are set to elect a new set of national leaders in an electronic poll scheduled for July 29 and 30, 2020.
In the NBA presidential race are two Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Mr Dele Adesina and Dr Babatunde Ajibade; as well as a former Chairman of the NBA Section on Business Law, Mr Olumide Akpata.
The Chief Tawo Tawo-led Electoral Committee of the NBA, on Wednesday, released a list of 29,635 lawyers who had been accredited to vote in the e-election, scheduled to commence at 11pm on Wednesday.
In its “Statement No.18” on Wednesday, the ECNBA said the 29,635 accredited voters excluded “1,604 names with duplicate phone numbers and/or email addresses.”
The electoral committee urged lawyers to conduct themselves “in the respectable manner for which the legal profession is known,” and advised all the candidates in the elections and their supporters to stop campaigning.
The ECNBA said voters could observe the election real time from the comfort of their locations by following a given link.
Meanwhile, at a press conference in Lagos on Tuesday, Ogunlana explained that he was disqualified by the electoral committee on the basis that he failed to supply a letter of good standing from his local branch.
He blamed the incumbent Chairman of the Ikeja NBA, Mr Dele Oloke, for not only refusing his application for a letter of good standing but also issuing a May 25, 2020 letter, accusing him of failing to refund N11.65m “withdrawn by you from the branch’s insurance account into your personal account.”
Ogunlana argued that Oloke had no right to bring up the N11.65m issue as he was already being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the matter was sub judice.
He maintained that he ought not to have been disqualified from the NBA election because letter of good standing was not one of the eligibility conditions set out in Section 8(3)(c) of the NBA constitution.
Ogunlana’s attempt to stop the NBA election hit the brick wall last Friday when Justice Adedayo Oyebanji dismissed his application for interlocutory injunction.
The judge said having admitted his failure to submit a letter of good standing to the electoral committee, Ogunlana had no legal right to be protected by the court.
However, Ogunlana said he was displeased with the court’s verdict and would be going on appeal.
He predicted that the NBA elections would be fraught with rigging and end in chaos.
Ogunlana said, “We of the Radical Agenda Movement in the Nigerian Bar Association foresee chaos in the election as the vexatious issue of rigging and manipulation of the electronic voting method adopted by the Nigerian Bar Association with the Constitution of the Nigerian Bar Association (2015 as amended) is rearing its ugly head again.
“Almost all the candidates in the national elections have expressed their doubt with the integrity of the electronic voting platform.
“We categorically demand that to rest this vexatious issue of electronic voting manipulation and rigging, the exercise should be decentralised with same to be conducted at branch levels before central collation at the national level. We also call for the abolition of rotational presidency on tribal arrangements as currently exists.”
Zamfara Confirms Abduction, Says Security Operatives, Vigilantes in Pursuit of Abductors
The Zamfara State Government has confirmed the abduction of female students of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in the Talata-Mafara Local Government Area of the state.
The confirmation was made by the Commissioner of Security and Home Affairs, Alhaji Abubakar Dauran in a brief interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Gusau on Friday.
The abductors in their hundreds invaded the town and took away the students about 2 am.
“I can confirm to you now that we have sadly received the report on the abduction of the students of GGSS Jangebe and right now, I am on my way to the school.
“At this moment, l cannot say how many students were taken away by the gunmen until l get there, but we have already mobilized security men and members of the vigilantatè who are now in pursuit of the abductors,” the commissioner stated.
A staff of the school who spoke to NAN on condition of anonymity said, “The gunmen in their hundreds invaded the town around 2 am on Friday, shot sporadically in the air to scare the residents before coming into the school.
“After taking away most of the students, we rounded up those that escaped or hid from the bandits and conducted a census where we counted 54 students and we are still searching to see if we can get more.”
Also, a resident who gave his name as Haliru Jangebe said the local vigilantes had tried to repel the invaders but were overpowered.
“The bandits were too many and they all seemed to be carrying heavy arms as we heard gunshots from all parts of the town and when the shots stopped, we heard that the students had been taken away.”
I’ve Given My Life to Christ, Metuh Says After EFCC Ordeal
In a brief speech, former spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, Olisa Metuh, has said that he has given his life to Christ, and to the service of God for the rest of his life, following his survival after his months of incarceration by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The former National Publicity Secretary spoke when some PDP faithful received him at the party secretariat in Awka on Wednesday.
“Since I returned from EFCC custody, I have given my life to Christ
“I have been to the lowest, deepest end of the valley. I have wrestled with the demons.
“I wrestled with the devils. The Almighty God has saved me. For that, I commit the rest of my life to the service of God and the people.
“It is not easy. It is just like being in your house and an armed robber comes to your house, takes away all your earnings, beats you up, violates your wife, deals with your children and you can’t do anything because he has the gun.
“When we have power, we should know how to use it because there is God in heaven. At the end of the day, all of us will die.”
Again, Bandits Invade Zamfara Secondary School, Abduct 300 Girls
Armed bandits have attacked a girls secondary school in Zamfara State, kidnapping many female students, the BBC is reporting.
The attack reportedly occurred at the Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State Friday morning.
A teacher in the school confirmed the attack to BBC Hausa with the number of kidnapped students said to be close to 300.
PREMIUM TIMES will provide more details of the incident in subsequent reports. The state government and the police were yet to speak on the incident at the time of this report.
Zamfara in Northwest Nigeria is one of the states most affected by bandits’ attacks. The attacks have continued despite negotiations initiated by the state government with the bandits.
The latest attack on the Zamara school occurs about two weeks after over 20 students were abducted by armed bandits from a school in Niger State. The students in Niger were yet to be released at the time of this report.