From: Chuks Onuoha, Umuahia
The election of new officials of the Aba branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), in which Barr. Bob Ogu emerged as the new Chairman, seems to have been causing some agitations among members of the bar in Aba, Abia State.
Ogu, in an election organised on Friday, June 30, had defeated Uche Umenne with 119 votes against 48 votes for Uchenne to emerge Chairman of the branch, while Chisom Kalu was elected the Secretary.
In a swift reaction to the election, on Monday, some members of the Bar, who were not comfortable with the election, vowed that they were going to upturn the election.
Briefing newsmen on the election, Umenne and Chinedu Nwaozuzu, who were candidates for the position of Chairman and Secretary, respectively, said that the election did not hold as there was no accreditation of eligible voters which led to protest at the voting centre.
They also alleged that eligible lawyers were disenfranchised and accused the electoral committee of adding about 160 names of lawyers who failed to pay their practising fees and branch dues into the voters’ list.
“Election did not hold, there was no accreditation of eligible voters. We urge the national president to invoke paragraph 11(1 of the NBA) 2015 Uniform Bye Law for Branches and direct that appropriate list of eligible voters be prepared and election conducted”, they alleged.
When contacted, the newly elected chairman of NBA Aba, Bob Ogu, described the allegations as unfounded , stressing that the group led by Umenne and Nwaozuzu, chose to disrupt the election when they discovered that they had lost the election.
“Some of our opponents chose to disrupt the election because they know that they can’t win. Even when Chief Donald Udogu, SAN, met with past Branch chairmen and other Bar leaders and appealed to the protesting lawyers to allow voting to continue and express their grievances through the right channel, they refused.”
He stated that the NBA national observer for the election, Eze Nwosuegbe, directed the declaration of results based on the votes already cast when he discovered that voting could no longer continue.
Other victories recorded during the elections were that of Cee cee as the Vice Chairman, Uzoma Nwaogu – Assistant Secretary, Ten Udo- Treasurer, H.U.-Publicity Secretary, Faith Agwu Adediran- Welfare Secretary, Emeka Eze- Social Secretary, Sylvester Ifeakor-Legal Adviser and Ihudiya Provost.
The election which were said to have suffered several disturbances as some lawyers allegedly attacked the Secretary of the Electoral Committee and broke the door to the voting center, also witnessed threats to beat up the electoral committee members and burn the Bar center.
Meanwhile, Ogu has enjoined those who lost during the election to join hands with him to build the branch, saying pre-election disputes ought to end after the election.