Team J-K Gadzama SAN to NBA Election Appeal Committee: Your Resignation Reeks of ‘Premeditated and Predetermined Objectives’

Erstwhile Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association Election Appeal Committee, Funmi Roberts

The J-K Gadzama SAN campaign team has faulted the resignation of members of the Nigerian Bar Association Election Appeal Committee, calling the move “premeditated and predetermined”.

In their statement on Tuesday, the team said:

RE: RESIGNATION OF MEMBERS OF THE NBA NATIONAL ELECTIONS APPEAL COMMITTEE

The letter dated July 30, 2022, from the NBA-National Elections Appeal Committee (NBA- NEAC) to the President of the NBA refers.

In the aforementioned letter, all 9 members of the NBA- NEAC have resigned their membership due to a letter of July 26, 2022, addressed to the NBA President, which the Committee has alleged was purportedly written and circulated on social media by Chief J-K Gadzama, SAN.

The NBA-NEAC also declared that the alleged “mischaracterization” ascribed to some members of the Committee is most “unfortunate, and undeserving”. It further alleged that the comments made by the learned silk in what it called the “globally circulated letter” was “most uncharitable” and thus that its “mass resignation” was due to their “indignation and principled opposition to the uncharitable comments and accusations of Chief J-K Gadzama, SAN”.

To put a method to this, we will be chronological:

Firstly, it is well within anyone’s rights to circulate whatever publication of substance they deem fit, in the present instance and for clarity, the referenced letter of July 26, 2022, was even neither signed nor circulated by Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama SAN on social media as alleged by the NBA-NEAC. The referenced letter of July 26, 2022, was ably signed by Chief C.P. Oli, the Director General, J-K Gadzama Campaign Team, and co-signed by Mr. O.E Oluwabiyi, the Admin Officer of the J-K Gadzama Campaign Team, and further addressed to the President of the NBA, with the NBA-NEAC in copy. Words and actions should not be arrogated without recourse to factual stream of events. Posterity is always kind to the truthful.
Secondly, as legal practitioners and conscionable persons, we understand the virtue of being temperate in language and making variable assertions; and therefore make bold to say that expressing reservations about a process, especially in view of the manifest likelihood of bias, cannot and should not be misread as “unfortunate, and undeserving” or “most uncharitable”, as was erroneously averred by the NBA-NEAC. We are ultimately charitable to the truth and our convictions for a better bar. It is in itself most uncharitable to refer to such conviction as uncharitable.
Considering that the notice of the constitution of the National Elections Appeal Committee for the NBA National Election was released on May 21, 2022, every member of the NBA-NEAC had ample notice to recuse themselves, especially where such member(s) has/have a preference as to candidate(s) in the national elections and have manifestly or tacitly, either by their actions and/or inactions, exhibited such.

The NBA-NEAC instant resignation is now of no moment and whatever bias this belated attempt aims at curing is long spent and overtaken by event since it is well outside 10 days from the announcement of the election results by the ECNBA within which petitions are to be filed before it. If anything, the instant resignation buttresses premeditated and predetermined objectives; for how best can it be explained that the instant resignation is coming well outside of the time limit the NBA-NEAC had itself stipulated in para 3.2 of its “GUIDELINES FOR HEARING AND DETERMINING COMPLAINT(S) FROM CANDIDATES IN THE 2022 NBA NATIONAL ELECTIONS.”
Furthermore, under S.14 (1) (l) of the NBA Constitution 2015 (as Amended in 2021), the NBA National Election Appeal Committee is listed as a Standing Committee. By S.14 (3) (i) of the said Constitution, the NBA-NEAC, as with all Standing Committees, is constituted by the President of the NBA, subject to ratification by the National Executive Council. Therefore, a reconstituted NBA-NEAC will no doubt still require the ratification of NEC to lawfully function.
It is against these serious and all-important backgrounds that we restate our commitment to a better bar is as unwavering as the rock of Gibraltar. It is a job that must be done and rightly so.

Long live the Nigerian Bar Association!

Signed:

Chief C.P. Oli
Director-General
(J-K Campaign Team)
01/08/2022


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