Ahead of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, 2020 elections some lawyers have expressed fears that a particular set of people amongst them will not allow the process of the elections to be free, fair and credible .
Notable among them is Human Rights Activist and Co-covener of the Open Bar Initiative, Chidi Odinkalu who is at the forefront #ProudJuniorLawyer movement.
Odinkalu highlighted loopholes allowed by the 2020 Electoral Committee Nigerian Bar Association, ECNBA, which according to him will aid these forces to rig the elections in their favour.
He said he had uncovered one of the malpractice to be the inflation of the numbers of eligible voters, according to him, he couldn’t understand how the numbers in a chapter like Abuja could move drastically from 2861 to 5799 in only one months.
The register of voters is the place to begin. A major site of manipulation is @nbaabujabranch. It's called #UnityBar but it's factionalised— Chidi Odinkalu (@ChidiOdinkalu) July 7, 2020
In 1 month, from end May to end June 2020, the number of notionally eligible voters in the @NBAAbuja rose from 2,861 to 5,799, i.e. 202.69% pic.twitter.com/BU3dQsb4sd
Also at other times this electioneering committee had deliberately excluded names of persons eligible to vote who they perceive will not be in sync with their intentions, Human Rights lawyer Abdul Mahmud tweeted.
I was called by a lady from Abuja branch who told me my name wasn't on the final list of those eligible to vote, that the ECNBA excluded eligible members. The lady requested for details of my BPF and branch dues https://t.co/q3GngAiOHL— Great Oracle (@AbdulMahmud01) July 7, 2020
The allegations that senior lawyers are set out to disrupt the process and truncate free and credible elections is coming 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.
Recall that 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.