NBA 2020 elections: I’ll Challenge Court ruling

 Romanus Okoye

Disqualified Nigeria  Bar Association (NBA) presidential aspirant and former chairman, NBA,  Ikeja,  Mr.  Adeshina Ogunlana has vowed to challenge the court ruling which confirmed his disqualification by Electoral Committee of NBA adding that if not for any other reason, at least to correct “wrong” precedence.

Ogunlana,  who spoke to journalists at the office of Radical Agenda Movement in NBA (RAMINBA) office in Lagos said that his disqualification was not predicated  on the constitution of NBA but personal acrimony  and vendetta.

In his view,  his disqualification is a great loss to Nigerians who need a radicalist like him to engage the government at this time, through the NBA platform.  According to him,  all the three aspirants to the NBA presidential  position are all good but none, in his opinion,  has the kind of radical  background to initiate the kind of peaceful social  revolution needed to save Nigeria from total collapse.

His statement reads: “Grossly dissatisfied with the decision of the ECNBA, I caused my Counsel, Messrs. Dare Akande and Company, (Legal Practitioners) to institute a suit under the Pre-Emptive Reliefs Procedure based on the Pre-Action Protocol of the High Court of Lagos State by way of Originating Motion Ex-Parte against the persons of Professor Tawo Tawo SAN and Cordelia Eke Esq. for themselves as Chairman and Secretary of the ECNBA respectively and members of the ECNBA. Joined to the suit with Suit Number ID/4015GCM/2020 were the Incorporated Trustees of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Paul Usoro SAN, the incumbent President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Jonthan Taidi, the incumbent General Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association and Dele Oloke, the immediate past Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja Branch(2018-2020).

“The matter filed as a Time-Bound Application with Urgency under the Practice Direction No.4 of the High Court of Lagos State was assigned to Honourable Justice Oyebanji of the Ikeja High Court. On the 20th day of July, 2020, Honourable Justice Oyebanji directed my counsel to serve the Motion on Notice dated the 8th day of July, 2020 for Interlocutory Injunction filed along with the Originating Motion Ex-Parte  on the Respondents and fixed 24th day of July, 2020 for the Hearing of the said Motion on Notice.

Accordingly, same was served on the Respondents and hearing of the said Motion on Notice took place on Friday, 24th July, 2020. After submissions of counsel, Honourable Justice Oyebanji gave a bench ruling wherein His Lordship held that my application for interlocutory Injunction was competent but ruled that I have no legal right which ought to be protected by injunction as I have admitted that I have no Letter of Good Standing.

Consequently, my application was dismissed by Honourable Justice Oyebanji.

I have instructed my Counsel to obtain the Certified True Copy of the said Ruling and in due course, I will challenge same accordingly for the following reasons:

“I am of the firm view that His Lordship, after ruling that my application is competent and the Pre-Action Protocol needs amendment misdirected himself by holding that I have no legal right because I do not have a Letter of Good Standing when my application before the Honourable Court is premised on the fact that the ground relied upon by the ECNBA for my final disqualification, which is Section 8(3)(c) of the Constitution of the Nigerian Bar Association(2015 as amended) discloses no issue at all against me.

“I am of the view that the Honourable Court erred in law by holding that I have no legal right because of lack of Letter of Good Standing at Interlocutory stage, which is the crux of the substantive matter, the Originating Summons which is yet to be filed.

“I am also proceeding with the completion of the Pre-Action Protocol in order to file my substantive matter, the Originating Summons in order for the Court to determine the propriety of the ground of disqualification of Aspirant for National Offices of the NBA on ground of denial of Letter of Good Standing by the Chairman of his or her Branch.”

In a related development,  he expressed his groups displeasure with the way,  politics has permeated NBA.  “We express our utter displeasure with the descent of politics in our professional association during this electioneering period into the savage, “pull him down” tactics of normal rotten Nigerian mainstream politics with purported endorsements and counter-endorsements. However, we view the Professor Tawo Tawo SAN-led ECNBA as a toothless bulldog which has refused and neglected to disqualify a single candidate since the electioneering process began despite flagrant violation of most of the Rules under the Electoral Guidelines issued by the ECNBA.

“We are on record that the 3 Presidential Candidates on the ballot for the election have individually and collectively violated the Rules of the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association not to engage in the use of the mass media to solicit for votes, yet the ECNBA has refused and neglected to disqualify them. In our view, the ECNBA is a hypocritical umpire and the elections will end up as a sham.

“We hold that neither of the three presidential candidates represent a departure from the usual agenda of the NBA in itself for itself as contrary to our Radical Agenda of the NBA as a vehicle for the socio-political transformation of the country.”

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