Gadzama sues NBA, hires 11 SANs
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) presidential candidate in the July 30 and 31, 2016 general elections, Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama (SAN) has made good his threat to sue the association over alleged electoral infractions.
He has filed a suit at the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja, challenging the outcome of the elections and assembled 11 senior advocates to prosecute his case.
Among the senior advocates lined up for the case are Chief Nnaemeka Ngige (SAN); Chief Mobolaji Ayorinde (SAN) Kabiru Tanimu Turaki (SAN); Chief Pius Akubo (SAN); Mr. Sebastine Tar. Hon (SAN); Prof. Andrew Chukwuemerie (SAN); Mr. Olakunle Ogunba (SAN); Garba Pwul (SAN); Aliyu Umar (SAN); Prof. Maxwell Gidado (SAN) and Dr. Akin Onigbinde (SAN).
In his statement of claim, Gadzama is urging the court to scrap the elections and order fresh poll. He is also urging the court to declare that “the defendants jointly and/or severally are bound by the provisions of the Constitution of the NBA amended and adopted in August 2015 and must in all matters relating to, connected with the business and or affairs of the Association obey and give effect to the provisions thereof.”
Listed as respondents are NBA trustees; Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim (SAN), Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Chief Thompson Joseph Onomigbo Okpoko (SAN), Chief (Mrs) Priscilla Kuye, Alhaji Murtala Aminu and Chief Anthony O. Mogboh (SAN). They are listed as 1st to 6th respondents, while the Incorporated Trustees of the NBA is the 7th respondent. The chairman of the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA), Mr. Kenneth Mozia (SAN) is the 7th respondent, while Mr. Oluwaseun Ajoba who doubles as the Secretary of the committee is the 9th Defendant.
Others are Hajia Safiya Balarabe, Mrs. Amaka Ezeno and Mrs. Eucharia Pepple – all ECNBA members – as 10th, 11th and 12th respondents, while NBA’s ICT partner, Grace Infotech Limited is the 13th Defendant. The out-going NBA president, Mr. Augustine O. Alegeh (SAN), is sued as the 14th respondents, while Gadzama’s opponent who was declared winner of the election, Mr. Abubakar B. Mahmoud (SAN) is listed as the 15th respondent.
Mahmoud was declared winner of the election with the total of 3055 votes, while Gadzama polled 2384 votes. But Gadzama said in his statement of claim that contrary to the result declared by the 8th respondent, at the close of voting, at 12:00 midnight on Sunday, 31st July, 2016, the result contained on the official voting domain showed he scored 2,963, while Mahmoud got 2,465. The score, he said, was as discovered by his ICT experts, who conducted forensic audit of the poll.
Gadzama also wants the court to declare that the election, was in total violation and disregard of the mandatory provisions of the NBA Constitution 2015 and that the election guidelines set down for the poll fell short of established standards and international best practices, thereby making the said election null, void and of no effect whatsoever.
The lawyer added that the poll was fundamentally and incurably compromised by undue influence as well as the biased conduct and utterances of the 14th respondent.
He therefore seeks the following orders: “An order directing the 1st to 7th respondents to set up a newly constituted ECNBA, which will issue guidelines and conduct a fresh poll as it relates to the office of the president.