Today is 31st of March, the last date for payment of Bar Practicing Fee (BPF) Any payment after 12 midnight today, will still be accepted by Supreme Court but it will not accrue any benefits to you as you did not pay “as at when due.”
Benefits of paying BPF, includes among others, right to vote in the forthcoming July NBA National Election.
It is customary for Seniors to pay for Juniors in their chambers, but in this election year, Seniors with political interest are soliciting to pay BPF for juniors who are not in their chambers or indigent.
This is what it is. Vote buying.
This has been going on in NBA and all stakeholders pretend that it is not corruption but will shout loudest when mainstream politicians give out stomach infrastructure to induce voters.
Apart from paying BPF for lawyers, NBA politicians also host colleagues to sumptuous party at gardens, lounges and hotels. Some go as far as assisting colleagues to pay house rent and meet other needs within an election year.
Some colleagues have turned professional campaigners, organizing these “get to meet …or an evening with…” And these cost money, running into 100s of millions.
The Augustine Alegeh SAN administration through instrumentality of amending the NBA Constitution, abolished delegate conference, claiming it was making NBA election expensive(he should know, he was the last president elected through that process.)
But the universal suffrage he brought, which empowered every lawyer to vote, so long as you are in good standing, has turned out to be more expensive, exploitative than the abolished delegate election.
During last election, it was war of whose COVID relief package was the biggest. Items that has nothing to do with the profession were found in these packages and like nominal electorates hustling for politicians branded rice, lawyers scrambled for them.
It is high time NBA found a way of reducing the cost of NBA election and make sure that best professional conduct is observed in the run up to the election.
Buying of votes in NBA, by whatever guise, should stop.