Again, South West lawyers fail to agree on consensus candidate for NBA president

The committee set up to screen the aspirants reverted to the general congress of the south west.

A screening committee set up to pick a consensus candidate among the aspirants for the post of President the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, on Saturday in Ibadan failed to achieve its mission.

After more than four hours of deliberation, some members of the committee, which comprises of chairmen of NBA branches in the zone and some other leaders of the bar, stormed out to raise allegations against the committee.

The Chairperson of the committee, Priscilla Kuye, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, told the press after the meeting that the there was majority decision that the committee reverts to the general house to express their frustration in achieving their mandate.

The committee was raised in Lagos by the Egbe Amofin, a conglomerate of lawyers based in the South Western part of Nigeria, to pick from four of their members who aspire to contest the NBA presidency in July this year.

Based on the rotation formula of the NBA, the next president of the association is to be produced by the South West.

Two of the aspirants, Funke Adekoya and Niyi Akintola, both SANs, had written protest letters to the committee on Friday, stating reasons why they would not submit themselves for the scrutiny.

The contestants alleged that many of the branch officials, who made up the committee, had been compromised.

They also alleged that some of them were made to swear an oath to vote for a candidate, among other allegations that question the integrity of the committee.

One of the aspirants, Erastus Irabor, had tactically stepped down as he was said to have refused to forward his manifesto to the committee for screening.

He was also not at the Ibadan Bar Centre on Saturday when the committee held its sitting.

The fourth aspirant is Dele Adesina, also a SAN.

Mrs. Kuye, while stating reasons for the committee’s decision, said they received two letters from aspirants and four others from lawyers in some south west branches who dissociated themselves from their representatives on the committee.

The furious first female National President of NBA said it was not possible to go on with the screening while weighty allegations were levelled against them.

“I have been practicing law for the past 47 years. I am the first female President of the NBA. I have integrity. I don’t want the screening exercise to rubbish my integrity.

“We the elders and some chairmen in this committee have resolved to return to the larger house that gave us this job.

“It is important that the unity of the egbe is protected. We don’t want anything to divide us. We believe that is just, equitable and reasonable thing to do,” she said.

Some of the lawyers present, however, protested the decision of the committee, singing political songs.

Saturday was the third time the committee would meet and fail to pick a consensus.


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