Gadzama Writes Body of Benchers, Reiterates Findings that the 2022 NBA Election was Susceptible to Fraud, Manipulation, Rigging and Pre-programming of Votes

By a letter dated Thursday, January 19, 2023 and referenced J-K/ABJ/TS/RFL/01/23, Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama OFR, MFR, SAN has written to the distinguished Body of Benchers on the 2022 Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) National Elections. Mr Gadzama urged the distinguished body to recall his earlier correspondence of Thursday, July 21, 2022 where he forwarded his press release on the NBA National Elections conducted on Saturday, July 16, 2022 for the kind attention, information and consideration of the Chairman and Members of the distinguished Body of Benchers.

Mr Gadzama emphasized the importance of intimating the members of the apex regulatory body in the legal profession of the occurrences and outcomes of the NBA poll and that he had attached relevant documents for reference. As a follow-up, Mr Gadzama stated that it became expedient to write to Body of Benchers in light of the utterances of Mr Yakubu Maikyau SAN as he has come to be aware by reason of the online publication of CITY LAWYER  MAGAZINE which reported thus:

“CITY LAWYER also gathered that Maikyau berated his erstwhile opponent at the last NBA Elections, Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama SAN for his petition to the Body of Benchers over the conduct of the recently concluded NBA Elections. Noting that Olanipekun had apologized to Gadzama at the last benchers’ meeting for not reading out his letter of complaint on the alleged infractions during the elections, Maikyau reportedly berated Gadzama for the complaint, noting that he dusted him at the poll with more than half of Gadzama’s tallied votes”

On the constitutional non-qualification of Mr Maikyau, Mr Gadzama urged the Body of Benchers to kindly recall that one Mr. Tochukwu E. Ohazuruike had addressed a petition to the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) dated the 6th May, 2022 hinged on the ground that Mr. Maikyau was not constitutionally qualified to contest for the office of President in the 2022 NBA National Officers’ election due to his failure to meet the eligibility criteria of not less than two years’ membership of NEC at the time of nomination, mandatorily required under section 9(3)(c)(i) of the Constitution and page 1 of the ECNBA’s Preliminary Notice of Election dated the 17th day of March, 2022. 

Mr Ohazuruike’s petition also made references to verifiable minutes of the National Executive Council (NEC) meetings and signed attendance lists within the period of 2018 to 2020, confirming that Mr. Maikyau, was absent for three consecutive meetings by virtue of which he automatically lost NEC membership at the time under reference pursuant to section 8(8) of the Constitution. And that such period of Mr. Maikyau’s non-membership of NEC cannot be reckoned with for purposes of computation of time as a NEC member for his nomination, qualification and participation in the 2022 NBA National Officers’ election, held on the 16th day of July, 2022. Despite these concerns, the petition has not been considered on its merit, but waived aside on grounds of technicality.

On electoral irregularities, Mr Gadzama stated that he had earlier informed the Body of Benchers that before the conduct of the 2022 NBA National elections, his agent – Mr Andrew Madaki – tested the vulnerability of the website – electionbuddy.com – used for the conduct of the 2022 NBA National election. Mr Gadzama stated that the report of his agent showed that the website was susceptible to manipulation. During the conduct of the election, Mr Gadzama further reported that his agent also discovered numerous irregularities and that same was expressed same via a letter to the ECNBA which essentially reported frequent timeouts on the website, lack of access to the backend of the servers, lack of graphical representation of the results and requested for audit of the election, which the ECNBA promised to provide immediately but is yet to do so.

On the pending unavailability of an independent forensic audit, Mr Gadzama stated that after the conduct of the election, his agent sent a reminder to the ECNBA on Sunday, July 17, 2022, to audit the election and discover if there were more irregularities but same was not provided by the ECNBA. Mr Gadzama has been consistent that auditing the election will permit independent parties and agents to discover if there were any technical interferences to usurp the will of the electorate and that access was expected to have been provided immediately after the conclusion of the poll to prevent any party from tampering with the system. 

He buttressed that the pending unavailability of an independent forensic audit report and/or election logs has rendered the possibility or otherwise of a Petition to the NBA-National Elections Appeal Committee (NBA-NEAC) impossible as there were no certified and verifiable material facts to bring before the NBA-NEAC which was a fact-finding Committee, a further proof that he was not availed all necessary facilities to make his case. Though the ECNBA had earlier stated that an audit would be conducted in the answers to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding the NBA election, the ECNBA is yet to conduct same.

In his letter to the distinguished Body of Benchers, Mr Gadzama stated that the publication from the City Lawyer Magazine reported Mr. Maikyau, SAN as claiming to have won the NBA 2022 National Elections by more than half of the supposed tallied votes and that Mr Maikyau berated him for his correspondence to Body of Benchers on the conduct of the NBA Elections. Mr Gadzama reiterated expert findings and concerns that the technology adopted for the concluded NBA Election on Saturday, July 16, 2022 was highly vulnerable and most susceptible to electronic fraud, rigging and pre-programming of votes and that the issue of an independent forensic audit of the election results and logs are still pending even after 6 months.

And that since these concerns have not been empirically dispelled, it may be far-reaching for Mr. Maikyau or indeed anyone to arrogate any unverified margin for a supposed victory at the 2022 National Elections in light of the likelihood of flawed and unverified data. 

Please find the full letter below:


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