A former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Section on Business Law, Olumide Akpata, has been declared the winner of the presidential election of the association.
Chairman of the Electoral Committee of the NBA, Tawo Taw (SAN), made the declaration around 12:52am Friday morning.
He noted that Akpata scored the highest number of votes and satisfied the provisions of the NBA constitution.
“I, Tawo Eja Taw, the Chairman, Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA), as the electoral officer for the 2020 National Officers’ Election, hereby declare Akpata Olumide Anthony, having scored the highest number of votes cast and satisfied the provisions of the constitution of the NBA 2015 (as amended), the winner of the election into the office of the President of the Nigerian Bar Association,” Taw said.
In the electronic poll, which began at 11pm on Wednesday and ended by 11pm on Thursday, he polled 9, 891 votes to defeat his opponents; Dr Babatunde Ajibade (4, 328), and Oladele Adesina (3, 982), who are both senior advocates.
Out the total 29,636 accredited voters, 18,256 cast their votes, representing 61%.
The landslide victory makes Akpata the 30th President of the association.
Out of six candidates, John O Aikpokpo-Martins emerged as the first Vice President with 6,010 votes, and Adeyemo Kazeem Debo emerged second Vice President with 8,794 votes defeating his only contender.
Other elected officers include Oduah Joyce, General Secretary; Nwadialo Esther Uchenna, Assistant Secretary; Mercy Ijato Agada, Treasurer; and Edun Olukunle, Welfare Secretary.
In addition, Anagor Raphael Nnamdi is the new Financial Secretary; Nduka Rapuluchukwu Ernest (PhD) is Publicity Secretary; while Naza Ferdinand Afam is Assistant Publicity Secretary.
Earlier, one of the three presidential candidates, Adesina, called for the cancellation of the poll, describing the exercise as a “sham.”
In a petition to the Chairman of the Electoral Committee, he alleged that the voter register contained “grave errors of omission and commission,” including the existence of “names of purported lawyers without branches ascribed to them from Serial Number 25171 to 29635.”
The presidential candidate added that there were names of lawyers “under the subheading ‘International Diaspora’ from Serial Number 12182 to 12268” in “clear violation of the provisions of the Constitution of the NBA.”
Adesina also alleged “inflation of the list of some branches” such as Obollo-Afor Branch, which he said had only 39 names on the final list for verification, with the number “strangely” increasing to 662 “on the verified list” noting that there was “deletion of names of members removed from the final list”, and that many members’ names “found their way to branches other than their own branch”.
“Several cases of reported disenfranchisement by members whose names were not on the list. A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, 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?
“Issues were also raised on the security of the NBA Membership Portal.
“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. Thank you,” he added.