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NBA fixes July 27, 28 for election

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) election will hold from July 27 to 28.Only lawyers who have paid their practising fees are qualified to vote. Voting will be done electronically.The Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) has released guidelines and timetable for the election.At the NBA National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held on March 1 in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, a five-man Electoral Committee was approved with Prof. Auwalu Yadudu as its Chairman.Others include Teslim Olatunde Busari (SAN) (Alternate Chairman), Prof. Augustine Robert Agom (member) Gloria Anuria Ohia (member) and Bolaji A. Agoro (Secretary).The ECNBA was inaugurated at the NBA House, Abuja on March 12.ECNBA’s mandate is to organise and conduct a free, fair and credible election into the National Offices provided in Section 8 of the Constitution of the Association.The guidelines, according to Prof. Yadudu and Agoro, are in line with NBA’s objectives and in order to facilitate the ECNBA’s jobs as enshrined in the association’s 2015 Constitution.QualificationBy virtue of Section 8(3) of the Constitution of the NBA 2015, a member of the Association shall be qualified to contest a National Office if such member has paid, as at the date of his/her nomination, the Bar Practice Fees and Branch Dues for three consecutive years. Each of the payments must have been made as and when due i.e on or before March 31 of each year.The member must also be in private legal practice and must have at any time prior to his/her nomination been either a member of the National Executive Committee or Branch Executive Committee as may be applicable to the post being contested in line with Section 8(3)(c)(i)-(iii) of the Constitution. Such member must also satisfy the post-enrolment requirement as indicated in Section 8(3)(d)(i)-(iii) as may be applicable.Constitutional requirements for the offices are:  Candidates for the offices of President, First Vice President, Second Vice President and Third Vice President must not be less than 15 years post-enrolment to bar; and not less than 10 years post-enrolment to bar for the positions.Candidates for the offices of General Secretary, Treasurer, Publicity Secretary, Financial Secretary, Welfare Secretary and Legal Adviser respectively. For the office of First Assistant Secretary, the candidates must not be less than eight years post-enrolment to bar.Candidates for the offices of Second Assistant Secretary, Assistant Publicity Secretary and Assistant Financial Secretary must not be less than five years post-enrolment to bar.In computing post-enrolment at the Bar for the qualification and nomination of candidates, the ECNBA shall take into consideration whether the candidate/member paid his/her Bar Practicing Fees as and when due.DisqualificationPursuant to Section 8(4) of the Constitution, an Applicant/Aspirant shall be disqualified from holding any National Office of the Association if during the campaigns for the election the following is established against him/her: there is evidence that he/she is sponsored by or has received any financial assistance or inducement from any government of the federation, or members, organisations or bodies corporate; that he/she sponsors or is associated with sponsoring a newspaper or magazine article or any electronic or social media broadcast vilifying other candidates or extolling a candidate’s virtues; and that he/she has held an elective office as a national officer for two consecutive terms and that such person shall not be eligible to contest for a national office until at least 10 years after his/her last term in office.An aspirant can also be disqualified if there is any evidence from receipts for the payment of Bar practicing fees and the Branch dues disclosing that it was not paid as and when due; if either of the two nominators is not qualified as the candidate or has any element that vitiates his qualification as a candidate; of he/she or either of his/her nominators did not meet the post-enrolment requirements for the office being sought.Pursuant to paragraph 2.6 of the second schedule of the constitution, a member shall not be eligible for election as a national officer if he/she is not a Nigerian Citizen; is a member of a political party in Nigeria; has been adjudged bankrupt or has made a composition or arrangement with his creditors; is adjudged mentally unfit to take up the position by a competent medical authority; and has been convicted of a crime or has been indicted by a disciplinary committee for an alleged or professional impropriety.Nomination of candidatesThe NBA National Elections will hold between July 27 and 28.  Nomination of candidates will begin from May 2 and end on May 31. Nomination forms will be available at the National Secretariat, NBA House and online as from May 2.Any disqualified aspirant who is aggrieved may within seven days of the communication of the decision, appeal against such decision. Such appeal should be presented not later than June 22. The ECNBA upon the receiving an appeal will consider it and give its decision within 14 days.VotingThe election will be by universal suffrage. Branches must send the list of their members who have paid their yearly practising Fees as well as the Branch Dues to the Secretary of the ECNBA vide 2018elections@nigerianbar.org.ngand copy sarah.ajijola@ nigerianbar.org.ng ,rabiah.auduhassan@ nigerianbar.org.ng. The list must contain the name, mobile phone number and active email address of a member.Every Branch must also attach the photocopies of the receipts and bank deposit slips evidencing payment of the Annual Bar Practicing Fees as well as the Statement of Account of Bank showing payment of Branch dues and levies by members whose names are contained in the list. The comprehensive list of members eligible to vote will be published not less than 28 days before the date of the elections.Campaign rulesCandidates shall submit by email not more than four pages of A4-size electronic copy of their Curriculum Vitae, comprehensive manifestoes and other campaign material to the ECNBA for publication on the NBA website.The publication, printing or distribution of any campaign materials, gifts and any form of souvenir whatsoever by a candidates or his supporter(s) is prohibited and any candidate who contravenes these provisions shall be disqualified from being voted for.Traveling across the country to the branches to canvass for votes is discouraged under these Guidelines. Electronic voting The elections shall be conducted electronically. Further guidelines on the modalities for the E- Voting, verification and accreditation of voters shall be published at a later date in accordance with paragraph 2.4(c) of the Second Schedule of the Constitution, the ECNBA said.Culled from The Nation

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