A candidate in the ongoing election of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Dele Adesina, SAN has called for the cancellation of the poll over alleged manipulation of the election.
He has thus, petitioned the electoral committee to cancel the election.
The NBA election, which commenced at 11 pm on Wednesday, is scheduled to end at 11 pm on Thursday.
According to Adesina, in a petition to the Electorl Committee Chairman, Tawo Tawo, the poll was being marred by over-voting, disenfranchisement of some eligible voters and non-compliance with the provisions of the NBA constitution.
Adesina stated that the verified voters’ list was only published about five hours to the commencement of voting contrary to the provision of the NBA constitution (2015) as amended, which provided that the list be released not later than 28 days before the election.
He added that the list comprises 86 names of lawyers under the sub-heading international diaspora, which was also a clear violation of association’s constitution, adding that over 4,000 names of lawyers on the list were not ascribed to any branch of the NBA while many others found their names in branches they did not belong.
He decried that inflation of the list of some branches, for instance, Obollo-Afor branch on the final list for verification had only 39 names on the list from serial number 30424 to 30462 and that strangely, this increased to 662 on the verified list.
Adesina said many members, particularly from the branches in the west, like Ibadan and Ado-Ekiti, did not receive the link to vote and that some of those who received the link could not vote.
He said: “The same protest came from several branches in the North, like Gombe, Katsina, Birnin-Kebbi, Yobe, and Kaduna. The same complaint was lodged vehemently by members of NBA Enugu Branch.
“Several cases of reported disenfranchisement by members whose names were not on the list. A senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) who contacted the helpline line to lodge his complaint was told that it is because he did not have his SAN’s number. Query! Is SAN’s number a requirement?”
Adesina said as of 2pm on Thursday, the addition of votes recorded plus notices yet undelivered amounted to 29,820 which is 185 votes over and above the total number (29,635) of voters on the register.
The Senior Advocate faulted the security of the electronic system used for the election, which he noted was said to have been registered the very day the election was to start and that a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU was signed on that same day.
He alleged that this was done all alone by the president of the NBA and that there was no opportunity to interrogate the system before the commencement of the election in order to determine its vulnerability, security and capacity.
“I call on you Mr. chairman and members of the electoral committee of the Nigerian Bar Association to cancel this sham election. It is needless to say that if the process is bad, the product cannot be good.”
Earlier results showed that Olumide Akpata was leading with 9,384 votes in the presidential election, followed by Babatunde Ajibade with 4,105 votes and Adesina, 3,815 votes.