By Innocent Anaba
The immediate past General Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mazi Afam Osigwe has said that his disqualification from taking part in the forthcoming contest for the presidency election of the association cannot stand.
The Electoral Committee of NBA, ECNBA, had in a letter dated 14 June, 2018, informed Osigwe of his disqualification from the race on the grounds that he allegedly did not pay his annual dues and other financial obligations to the Nnewi Branch as and when due for at least three years immediately preceding this year’s election.
However, rejecting his disqualification, Osigwe said same was “insupportable in law and in fact.”
In his protest letter, the ex-NBA scribe disclosed that he had informed the ECNBA of his membership of NBA Nnewi branch which he joined in January, 2018, adding, ” I could not have paid Branch Dues as a member of Nnewi Branch in 2016 and 2017 as I was not a member of the Branch in those years.
“In 2016 and 2017, I was a member of NBA Abuja Branch and paid my Branch dues accordingly to Abuja Branch Account. Section 13(4) of NBA Constitution, 2015 as amended provides that no member shall belong to more than one Branch. Thus a lawyer cannot lawfully pay branch dues to more than one branch at the same time in the same year.
“The NBA Constitution does not require a candidate for national office to have mandatory membership of a particular branch before he/she will qualify to contest in the election.
“In the light of the above, I request that my name be restored as a candidate for the office of President for the 2018 Elections having met all the requirements.”