•Lawyer files Suit against poll
From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A crisis of confidence has erupted in the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) ahead of its annual convention slated for July 31, in which national officers of the body are expected to be elected.
The immediate past Assistant Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. John Unachukwu has dragged the association, its National President, Mr. Augustine Alegeh (SAN) and four others before the Abuja High Court to challenge the adoption of Internet voting for the election and his disqualification to contest for the position of National Publicity Secretary.
Other defendants in the are the chairman of the NBA electoral committee, Mr. Ken Mozia (SAN), Grace Infotech Limited, Chief Joe Kyari Gadzama (SAN) and Mr. Abubakar Mahmood (SAN).
In the suit with No CV/449/16 instituted on his behalf by Chief Chukwuma Ekomaro (SAN), the plaintiff applied for an order of injunction to stop the NBA, Alegeh and the chairman of the Electoral Committee from conducting the national elections for national officers by Internet voting pending the determination of his suit.
The plaintiff also asked the Abuja High Court for an order compelling the NBA electoral committee to issue guidelines allowing the use of manual voting alone in branches where available information technology infrastructure is clearly inadequate.
In the Originating Summons issued out by Ekomaro and three other Senior Advocates of Nigeria, the plaintiff also prayed for an order of the court upholding the principle of Universal Suffrage enshrined in the NBA constitution by suspending the use of voting over Internet (I-Voting) and ordering the adoption of electronic voting with paper ballot back-up for all branches across the country.
He further asked the court to declare that the Internet voting proposed by the NBA electoral committee is contrary to and ultra vires their powers under relevant provisions of the NBA constitution.