A presidential candidate in the just concluded elections of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Emeka Ngige, SAN, will not go to court to challenge the result of the poll, despite his allegations that it was marred by serious irregularities.
Instead, Ngige stated he would send a formal report of the alleged irregularities to the trustees of the NBA.
Ngige came second behind Mr. Okey Wali in the presidential election, but, in a statement, he alleged that the electoral process was manipulated to favour some of the candidates in the election.
The statement had since unsettled the NBA, which had been spiritedly refuting Ngige’s claims.
“I will not go to court. What I will do is that we have trustees of the association. I will send a formal letter of my findings to them so that they can ensure that such irregularities are not repeated in future elections,” he said.
Ngige said he would not be pressing for the nullification of the NBA election either.
He said, “If I get the election nullified, it will not affect only the presidency, it will affect all the offices contested.
“If that happens, there can be an impasse and the government can interfere.”
“So having considered the pros and the cons of such a development, I believe that it is better for the NBA to correct the anomalies through its internal mechanism.”
Ngige noted that he had no personal issues with Wali, who emerged the new NBA president.
Among other irregularities, Ngige specifically complained about the inclusion of names of deceased legal practitioners in the delegates list as well as the accreditation of lawyers who were constitutionally not qualified to be delegates.
He said, “The National Executive Committee list was manipulated to include non-NEC members and even those who are constitutionally disqualified from being NEC members.”
However, the NBA denied Ngige’s claims, saying the names of the dead lawyers were not intentionally included in the list in order to rig the election.
The outgoing General Secretary of the NBA, Mr. Olumuyiwa Akinboro, who spoke for the association, said the names were obtained from a register of living lawyers published by the Supreme Court in May this year.
Akinboro also justified the inclusion of the names of wife and son of the outgoing President of the NBA, Mr. Joseph Daudu, in the list of voters.
According to him, whereas Daudu’s wife voted in her capacity as a member of the NBA NEC, the son participated in the process due to his position as the President of the Young Lawyers Association of Nigeria.