Members of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, have expressed readiness to participate in the 2020 NBA elections irrespective of how the results turn out as voting commenced by 11pm Wednesday night.
Some have had to stay up all night monitoring the progress of the elections as they seem not to have confidence in the system due to the different controversies that have surrounded the elections this year.
The elections which has a total of 29,636 eligible voters commenced at midnight on Wednesday and will allow voters cast their till 11pm Thursday night that is 24 hours scheduled for the exercise.
The elections will be done electronically through Short Message Service commonly known as SMS.
On the ballot for the NBA presidential race are three contenders, Olumide Akpata a senior lawyer, Babatunde Ajibade, SAN, and Dele Adesina, SAN.
As the the exercise is ongoing supporters have vowed to stay up round the clock to ensure the protect the vote of their candidates even as they express fears that the election is already marred with incidents that will truncate the association’s ability to conduct a free and fair elections.
Human Rights Activist and Co-covener of the Open Bar Initiative, Chidi Odinkalu who has been at the forefront has on several occasions questioned the motive of the 2020 Electoral Committee Nigerian Bar Association, ECNBA.
In a series of tweet this morning highlighted different areas he thinks will aid election malpractice during the exercise.
29,636 voters are on the deeply flawed, #AccreditedList of voters released by #ECNBA for #NBADecides2020— Chidi Odinkalu (@ChidiOdinkalu) July 30, 2020
Of that number 17,360 requested to vote by SMS. I am hearing that up to over 14,300 SMS remain undelivered from election control. That's 48.25% of the roll or 82.37% of SMS
U go into an election without a clear voters register, no knowledge of the technology, no debate, no test-run of the platform, no opportunity for voter education, it's no surprise that there will be incidents from the bag of a #JujuPriest— Chidi Odinkalu (@ChidiOdinkalu) July 30, 2020
Some reactions from lawyers this morning below;
My wife summarily summoned me this morning. She was like "you've been on your phone since 2am because of Olumide Akpata. Don't worry he will win." 😆— Akanimo Ukpe (@akviktor) July 30, 2020
The agenda to change the NBA from status quo through #OlumideAkpata has deprived me of sleep.
Keep monitoring results pls.
@ChidiOdinkalu @akaebube @Oddy4real @OrjiUka please come and see oh! They have a backdoor method of sending voting links to their people. Please oh. This has gone beyond be careful o. #NBAElection2020 #ECNBA pic.twitter.com/vokkNSm0VI— Kenneth O. D. Okwor, Esq. (@Ononeze1) July 30, 2020
Recall that junior there has been allegations by a section of lawyers that senior lawyers are set out to disrupt the process and truncate free and credible elections after a Senior Advocate of Nigeria,SAN , Asiwaju Awomolo in a detailed letter to a fellow SAN appealed him to help stop the ambition of junior lawyers.
In the letter Awomolo while writing to the the oldest SAN in Nigeria Chief T Okpoko, had appealed to him to rise and gather all other SANs to stop junior lawyers from taking over the presidency of the NBA.
According to him if noting is done, the group he described as junior lawyers with higher numbers will snatch the presidency from the rank of SANs thereby causing the prestigious position to loose it’s honour and integrity.
There are three aspirants contesting for the topmost position position in the NBA elections, two of which are SANS.
Awomolo fears that the latter whose is not a SAN may likely win the elections to become the next NBA president as he is perceived to have more supporters based on the indices that these junior lawyers are more in numbers nadir will go all out leaving out nothing in supporting their own.