News

April 16, 2024

2024 National Polls: We’ll use electronic voting system for transparency – NBA

NBA presidency

….as over 50 lawyers jostle for positions

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri

The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, on Tuesday, said it would adopt electronic voting system for its 2024 national elections.

The association, which is the umbrella body of legal practitioners in the country, said the system would not only ensure transparency in the outcome of the poll but also enable its members to cast their ballot from the comfort of their homes.

Chairman of the Electoral Committee of the NBA, ECNBA, Mr. Oluseun Abimbola, SAN, who spoke with newsmen during the opening of nomination forms for the elections at the association’s Secretariat in Abuja, disclosed that 50 lawyers had already declared their intentions to vie for various national positions.

The ECNBA Chairman, Abimbola, SAN, who is a former Oyo State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, said over 150, 000 lawyers from 120 branches of the legal association were expected to participate in the elections, assuring that strong measures would be put in place to protect the sanctity of the votes.

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“Our voting system is electronic so that members can vote from their respective locations.

“Secondly, I can assure you that all we are doing is transparent for members to be able to verify. We will soon issue guidelines which will govern every stage of the process. We have issued some guidelines already, we will issue more as we progress,” Abimbola, SAN, stated.

Asked if the electorates would be able to view the results real-time, the ENBA Chairman said the candidates and their representatives would be granted access to the system’s backend.

He said: “We understand that NBA has 120 branches across the country and if we calculate the members of the association, we should be looking at over 150,000.

“The essence of having this engagement is that the candidates are fully represented. I can assure you that at that stage of the process, the necessary verification will be done by the candidates and their representatives.

“We are taking all steps to ensure that all steps are taken to ensure the technical support that will guide the election will be watertight .

“We are going to do everything in a transparent manner. We assure the candidates and their representatives that the election will be credible.

“Those who needs to have access to the front and backend will have it. We can’t expect the entire member of NBA to have access to the back end. That will cause security risk. Those who need to have it will do.”

It will be recalled that the current national leadership of the NBA, led by its President, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, were elected into office on July 17, 2022.

Though the runner up at the presidential poll, Chief J. K. Gadzama, SAN, alleged that the electoral process was rigged, however, in his victory speech, Maikyau, SAN, maintained that the process was impeccable.

He implored the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to understudy the technology-driven electoral system of the NBA.

According to Maikyau, SAN, there was the need for INEC to leaverage on technology in such a way that electorates across the federation could cast their votes from the comfort of their homes.