Nigerian Bar Association, NBA,
National Headquarters, Abuja.
25th March, 2022.
Dear Mr. President,
CASE OF FUNDAMENTAL BREACH OF THIRD SCHEDLE, ARTICLES 9, 11, UNIFORM BYE–LAWS, 2015 (AMENDED IN 2021), DISREGARD TO GENERAL MEETING’S RESOLUTION IN A DESPERATE MOVE TO INSTALL ANOINTED CANDIDATE BY THE CHAIRMAN NBA ABUJA (UNITY BAR)AND HIS CLIQUE.
–APPLICATION TO SAVE UNITY BAR FROM COLLAPSE–.
With kind compliments to my President, I am MAZI UCHENNA C. UCHE, a senior registered and dues-paying member of our greatUnity Bar, past Welfare Secretary and current Secretary, Committee on CAC, Unity Bar, Abuja.
May I humbly bring to your attention, Mr. President, the impending Crisis likely to result from an illegal Electoral Committee singlehandedly constituted by the Branch Chairman in contra-distinction to the expressedprovisions of our BYE LAW.
Sadly, some members, especially those who benefit from them pretend and live in denial about the recent ugly developments, gerrymandering, desperation, conducts and choice of preference of the Branch chairman already causing and generating tension and looming crisis because of his resolve, desperation, quest and determination to side and provide the enabling structures to deliver and hand over the chairmanship position to hisfriend already anointed candidate against the ethics of an umpire that he is, to the detriment of other candidates.
This ugly development came to its manifestation during the February, 2022 Unity Bar Branch meeting. I was present.
At the December, 2021 meeting, a STANDING COMMITTEE was set up by MRS. CHIOMA ONYENUCHEYA-UKO who presided in acting capacity after the demise of our late beloved Chairman to conduct election into the vacant position of the office of the Chairman and ratified unanimously by members of the house present in lines with ARTICLE 9 (9) (a) which provides thus;
“ The committees shall be constituted by the general meeting on the advice of the Branch Executive Committee” In compliance with the above, It was further agreed that the said standing committee is mandated to conduct the 2022 Branch elections which the said committee members accepted with acceptance speech from its chairman with solemn commitment to roll out its modus operandi for satisfactorily conducting the 2022 Elections that will beacceptable to all the candidates and members in general.
Thereafter, the incumbent Chairman assumed the mantle of leadership as the substantive Chairman vide the Standing Committee electionto the admiration of all present, including my humble self, who, against all odds and permutations from certain quarters, accusing me of not allowing/supporting the Vice Chairman, then Chairman in acting capacity (Unity Bar has a rotational arrangement in favour of the North and must be allowed to complete same) to complete the remaining period in office occasioned by the sudden demise of our beloved late Chairman. The only tonic and weapon I had was my insistence that the provisions of our UNIFORM BYE-LAWS must be dutifully followed. That singular insistence ensured that unity and peace was maintained! However, to the chagrin of some members, upon assumption of office during the February, 2022meeting, the Chairman announced the constitution of another ELECTORAL COMMITTEE to conduct elections against already approved STANDING COMMITTEE to conduct same election in 2022!
Such rape on our collective resolution generated a lot of hands indicating to call to order such strange action contravenes ARTICLE 11 (1)which vested such powers only on the General Meeting. It provides thus, “THE SUPREME AUTHORITY OF THE BRANCH SHALL BE VESTED IN THE GENERAL MEETING WHOSE DECISION ON ALL MATTERS AFFECTING THE BRANCH SHALL BE FINAL”
One of the only TWO PERSONS the chairman allowed to speak on the issue was the SECRETARY OF THE SAID STANDING COMMITTEE whom he denied the right to present the monthly Reports of the Standing Committee as provided in ARTICLE 9 (9) (C)which provides that “Each committee shall present a monthly written Reports to the General Meeting”. Despite all frantic efforts to present the already prepared Reports of the Committee, the Chairman overruled her.
The chairman’s gagging of members from airing their views on the matter was most unfortunate and vicious!
Sensing the collective resolve of members on the said vexatious issues and to re-direct the attention of the chairman of the subsisting Resolution now the vox populi, acting in the style and manner of a typical dictator, not knowing that we are in the twenty-first century, the chairman RULED that the matter is CLOSED and will not be discussed again!
I was one of those whose hands were still up but was SHUT UP in a MASTER/SERVANT atmosphere, an issue that is fundamentally constitutional.
Members of the Electoral Committee set up by the chairman is, to say the least, appropinquo, and made up of notoriously long-standing bosom friends of one of the candidates.
By the provisions of the Bye Law, the Electoral Committee set up by the Chairman is illegal as there is still a STANDING COMMITTEE by the General Meeting of that day.
Not done, the same candidate is appointed as thealternate chairman of the 2022 LAW WEEK COMMITTEE, mindful of undue advantages and exposures over other candidates vying for elective positions such accords him in an election year, likely to be conducted few weeks to the election.
Like Cesar’s wife, both our chairman and his Electoral Committee members must not only be above board but must be seen to be above board by all and sundry especially by the candidates in particular. Opposite is the case here, sir.
The only reasonable extrapolation to such strange, desperate and disreputable action of the chairman was to make sure that their “Cliques’ wish” and desperation to handover the mantle of leadership to their anointed candidate as the next chairman of Unity Bar in 2022 is materialized!
Mr. President sir, please recall that the last CRISIS UNITY BAR had some years ago which we laboured hard to recover from was majorly fueled by the same desperation, acts and conducts of few “Cliques” of the Branch to make a candidate of their choice by all means; hook or crook, the next chairman of Unity Bar. Herein lays my sincere worries and concerns that if urgent drastic measures are not taken, my beloved Unity Bar will be plunged into another crisis and this may likely be the end of the elusive peace in our dear branch, sir.
This my sincere concerns stem from the fact that we are still recovering from CRISIS and consolidating on the peace, stability and achievements built by past our Chairmen Mr. Abimbola Kayode and his Exco and our beloved late Hauwa Shekarau only to be destroyed again by this emerging Clique.
I used the general WhatsApp platform to signal to the Chairman about the impending CRISIS on the Monday after the said meeting but was roundly ignored.
I thereafter took a step further by communicating to the Branch Secretary. Curiously, no single step is taken to address my sincere concerns, they have apparently treated as mere trivialities though not surprised at thatand barely two days thereafter the illegal Committee released its electoral timetable/guidelines.
Mr. President, in view of the foregoing, I humbly pray for your urgent intervention on this matter. It is my prayers that you use your good office to set aside the kangaroo Committee set up by the Chairman of Unity Bar to actualize personal interests, return the existing STANDIN COMMITTEE set at the NBA General Meeting of December, 2021 or alternatively use your discretion and set up a STANDING ELECTORAL COMMITTEE devoid of personal interests to save our beloved Unity Bar from total collapse, thanking you in anticipation, sir.
Kindly be assured of my esteemed professional and personal regards.
Mazi Uchenna C Uche, Esq.