Monday, July 30, 2018 5:58 pm
Afam Osigwe, former General Secretary, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), has called for more transparency in the process leading to the forthcoming bar election to ensure a credible poll.
Addressing newsmen on Monday in Lagos on the impending NBA elections, Osigwe urged the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) to sanitise its mode of data collection on eligible voters.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NBA General Election earlier slated for July 30 and 31 was rescheduled to hold from Aug. 2 to Aug. 4, 2018.
He said that ECNBA wrongly allotted too much powers to NBA branches on data collection which could be easily abused.
The former NBA scribe said that the mode of data collation adopted by the ECNBA was in conflict with the letters and spirit of the NBA constitution.
“If you look at the second schedule article 2(d) (f) of the NBA constitution, it is clear that all lawyers are entitled to vote, provided they belong to a branch, paid their practice fees and dues and are registered to vote.
“This presupposes that the act of registering to be a voter is that of the lawyer and that the electoral committee lacks power to delegate data collection to branches,” he said.
He said that all that was required of branches was to submit the list of its due-paying members to the NBA to match same with its data and produce a preliminary voters list.
According to him, the NBA constitution provides that the list of cleared candidates be submitted 30 days before election but some candidates were disqualified on grounds of alleged petition few days before election.
The former NBA scribe said that before any disqualification, such candidate should be informed of the said petition to enable him/her issue a response.
Osigwe called for transparency and compliance with the rule of law at the NBA poll in order to project the image of the legal profession in good light.
“I love the NBA, but I love justice more,” he said.