By Onozure Dania
An ex-Chairman of the Ikeja Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Adesina Ogunlana, has said that he was wrongly barred from contesting the association’s national elections which held on Wednesday and yesterday.
Ogunlana, who is the Chairman of the Radical Agenda Movement in the Nigerian Bar Association (RAMINBA), said he would appeal his disqualification by the NBA’s Electoral Committee (ECNBA).
A Lagos High Court had on Friday upheld the ECNBA’s contention that the aspirant could not run for the post having failed to obtain a Letter of Good Standing from the then Chairman of his Branch, Dele Oloke.
However, Ogunlana in a briefing in Lagos, said that the requirement of a Letter of Good Standing in Section 8(3) (c) of the NBA Constitution 2015, was unconstitutional, adding that the court misdirected itself.
“I have instructed my counsel to obtain the Certified True Copy of the said Ruling and in due course, I will challenge same accordingly,” he said.
The ECNBA had on Monday said it had verified 30,000 voters for the elections and engaged an online technology expert to secure the votes.
But the RAMINBA, according to Ogunlana, said it foresaw “chaos in the election as the vexatious issue of rigging and manipulation of the electronic voting method.”
He said, “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 it currently exists.”
The group also urged the NBA to “utterly reject the debarment of lawyers by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) from its premises.”
It described it as an attack on a means of survival for lawyers during the lockdown of courts.
It also, among others, advised the NBA to “join the Nigerian Labour Congress in rejecting the 6 per cent Stamp Duty on Tenancy Agreements”, describing it as “over-taxation”.