Disquiet as NBA Ikeja holds election today
There are strong indications that the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja Branch chairmanship election scheduled for today may not be hitch-free.
One of the contenders to the chairmanship position in the branch, Dele Oloke, insists the election is an illegality while his opponent, Adesina Ogunlana, has expressed readiness to contest.
Ogunlana and Oloke are at the centre of the crisis rocking the branch with both claiming to be chairmen of the branch.
While Adesina allegedly emerged as the chairman of the branch through an election, which was subsequently invalidated by the NBA national, Oloke was elected through an election conducted by a caretaker committee set up after Ogunlana election was annulled.
Activities in the branch in the last one year have been grounded as none of the parties agreed to shift ground for the other.
However, at a manifesto presentation on Wednesday organised by chairman, caretaker committee, Ben Oji, only Ogunlana and his supporters turned up for the event.
Ogunlana said he stood by his manifesto during his earlier election and that he would work to ensure a vibrant Bar and the Bench.
He, however, said that he would neither increase the fleet of vehicles of the secretariat nor expand the present structure of the building housing the secretariat.
He said he would rather work for the welfare of lawyers in the branch.
But Oloke and his supporters held a separate meeting yesterday where they insisted that the election was a nullity.
Although he refused to acknowledge whether he would participate in the election, Oloke said that Oji’s caretaker committee, which was mandated by NBA national to restore peace to the branch, was carrying out an illegal duty by conducting a new election for the chairmanship position.
“It is pertinent and worrisome that a committee comprising a national officer of NBA, a former chairman of a premier branch and a sitting chairman of a branch will go about organising an election in grave violation of the constitution of Nigerian Bar Association.
“It is therefore important to state that the majority of NBA Ikeja branch members are opposed to the conduct of any election in contravention of the uniform bye-law and constitution of NBA, 2015.
“The NBA stands for adherence to the rule of law. Therefore, an election conducted in contravention of the extant law of NBA in the name of peace is unacceptable and will worsen the situation in Ikeja branch,” he said.