SPIDEL Report To NEC Holden At Jos At Pages 89-106 of NEC Bundle.

For a comprehensive understanding of the novel state NBA has found itself-NEC removing a Chairman of Section and in fact, “taking over” SPIDEL, we urge you to get a copy of NBA NEC Bundle and rat-race through.   

Kubwaexpress, is in exclusive possession of the said Bundle and contrary to sparks flying, we dare to say; all parties were given fair hearing. SPIDEL Chairman presented his report and tendered as it were, all documents being correspondences between him and the NBA President.
The NBA President, defended himself and NEC was moved by a Motion sponsored by Emanuel Tayo Ogunjide, Esq., NBA Gwagwalada Chairman that; NEC ratifies President’s letter and it’s purport, discountenance SPIDEL’s letter, and investigate the causes and effects of SPIDEL’s dispute.

Tayo Ogunjide, Esq., NBA Gwagwalada Chairman, moving the motion on the floor of NEC.

The motion was amended by other NEC Members to sack SPIDEL Exco and discontinue all cases filed by SPIDEL. After these amendments, with no counter motion, NEC unanimously by voice vote, resolved that the leadership of SPIDEL be relieved of their posts. a caretaker committee set up to drive the affairs of SPIDEL and all suits filed by SPIDEL, be discontinued.


The Section on public interest and development law (SPIDEL) is the 3rd section established by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) following approval for its establishment at NBA NEC meeting held on 30th November 2006 in Bauchi. SPIDEL aims at developing legal frameworks that underpin economic reforms, addressing issues relating to Public Interest Law and advocating the fundamental link between law, its role, and application to development. Due to its importance and expected impact on national development process, SPIDEL was inaugurated on 19th December 2006 by The President of the NBA Mr. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN.Mission Statement- SPIDEL is NBA’s commitment to promoting the role and application of law to economic development and growth of Public Interest Law in Nigeria.
Vision – To make Public Interest and Development Law fundamental aspects of national life and development.
Motto- Promoting Social Justice and Development.

a) Ensure the credibility and development of our national institutions.
b) Promote development and practice of public interest law and litigation and ensure access to effective remedies for victims of violation of the law and abuse of power.
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c) Address legal aspects of economic reforms, particularly; competition, regulation, consumer and investment protection, portability of land rights, and the legal and policy infrastructure for a credit economy.
d) Advocate for effective laws and institutions to guarantee public safety and security in Nigeria.
e) Promote harmonization of regional integration of institutions within Nigeria’s constitutional framework.
f) Contribute to development of appropriate legal and policy framework for management and protection of environmental, marine, and maritime resources and rights.
g) Promote legal and policy framework for safe and equitable exploitation and management of natural resources, including hydrocarbons and solid minerals, with due regards to the development and entitlements of mineral-hosting communities.
a) Research, Legal and Policy Analysis
b) Public or Strategic Impact Advocacy and Litigation (SIAL)
c) Workshop and conferences.
d) Consultancy Services.
e) Training and capacity building Programs.
f) Legislative Advocacy & Networking
NBA is the biggest professional association whose objectives- justice and development for all should make it appealing to wide range of sponsors be it in business economy, development, rule of law, professional development etc. NBA is a leading civil society organization in the Federation. SPIDEL is one of its working units hence entities would demonstrate the willingness to partner with NBA and SPIDEL in pursuit of value-added programming on different thematic areas covering; human rights, democratic reforms, access to justice, corruption, rule of law, law and development, speed of justice, accountability, gender issues etc. to the benefit of Bar and the Nigerian Society.
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The Bar, the Bench, and the General Public need a vibrant SPIDEL in this momentous period of nation’s pursuit for an egalitarian society.  

NBA-SPIDEL made public statements on the following national issues that are of public interest:
i. Appointment of Local Government Caretaker Chairmen: SPIDEL vide letters dated the 4th of December, 2023 wrote to the then Governor of Ondo State and the Hon. Attorney-General of Ondo State. The letter to the Governor is titled; Purported Appointment of 51 persons as Chairmen and Vice Chairmen of Caretaker Committees of Local Government Council in Ondo State: an unconstitutional act which has been deprecated by the Supreme Court in decided cases. SPIDEL through the said letters reiterated the decisions of the Supreme Court as unconstitutional, the contraptions called Caretaker Committees or Interim Committees at the Local Government in States. NBA-SPIDEL therefore urged the then Governor, Arakurin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, to kindly use his good office as an ambassador of the Bar in governance to cancel the manifestly unconstitutional appointments in deference to the rule of law. SPIDEL further urged that in furtherance of the sanctity of the provisions of Section 7(1) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that immediate steps be taken by the Ondo State Government to commence preparations for the conduct of Local Government elections in Ondo State to enable the people to elect their own leaders at the Local Government level.
ii. Abscondment, Purported Mobilization and Discharge of Mr. Kenny Ogungbe and Abscondment of Hannatu Musa Musawa, Who Is Presently A Minister Of The Federal Republic of Nigeria: SPIDEL observed the growing practice and trend of those who did not serve as at when due, now serving in their old ages contrary to the intendment and spirit of the National Youth Service Corps Act. To nip this practice, by a letter dated the 14 th day of December, 2024 SPIDEL wrote a letter dated titled Abscondment, Purported Mobilization and Discharge of Mr. Kenny Ogungbe And Abscondment of Hannatu Musa Musawa, Who Is Presently A Minister Of The Federal
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Felix Chukwuma Ashimole, Esq., co-publisher Kubwaexpress is consulting to serve NBA as Publicity Secretary 2024-2026.

Republic of Nigeria to the Director General of the National Youth Service Corps. Upon the receipt of same, the Director General requested to meet with SPIDEL. The meeting held on the 5th of January, 2024. However, the issue could not be resolved amicably. SPIDEL therefore instituted Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/90/2024 to determine amongst other issues the following: whether by virtue of Section 2 (1) of the National Youth Service Corps Act, Cap. N84, LFN 2004, the Hannatu Musa Musawa and Kenny Ogungbe can suo motu determine and at their discretion, when to undergo and participate in the mandatory national youth service after qualifying for such service.
iii. Plateau Christmas Eve Killings:SPIDEL issued a statement on the 26th day of December, 2024 titled “Christmas Eve Killings: A call for a declaration of a state of emergency in the security sector and an urgent and sustainable action for justice in Plateau State. In the letter, SPIDEL stated that the government cannot just keep making ineffectual statements whilst folding its arms while those repeated acts of unjustifiable and beastly killings continue to spread all over the country. SPIDEL called for proactiveness from the government and for the security forces to stamp their feet on every act of terrorism, banditry and indiscriminate violent attacks.
iv. Provision of Police Security/Protection for Local Government appointed in wanton violation of the 1999 constitution and disregard to several pronouncements of the superior courts of Nigeria: a demand for immediate withdrawal of police personnel attached to illegally appointed local government caretaker officials and pre -action notice: SPIDEL in her avowed objective to see to the end of illegal caretaker local government system in the country vide a letter dated the 9th of January, 2024 wrote a letter and gave pre-action notice to sue to the Inspector General of Police.
v. Petition Against Chief Chukwuma Ekomaru to the LPDC: SPIDEL on the 11th day of January, 2024 filed the petition No. BB/LPDC/1284/2024 against Chief Chukwuma Ekomaru, SAN at the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee on the allegations of leading thugs to snatch ballot boxes at the last Imo State Governorship election held on the 11th of November, 2024.
vi. The Issuance of Central Motor Registry Information System (CMRIS) Certificate by the Nigerian Police Force: A demand for the immediate stoppage of same:The attention of SPIDEL was drawn to the directives of the Police for vehicle owners to register and obtain a Central Motor Information System Certificate for the sum of about N6000. In response to this public
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outcry, SPIDEL on the 29th day of January, 2024 wrote to the Inspector General of Police to immediately stop the said scheme. This demand is predicated on our belief that there is no law to our knowledge that gives the Nigeria Police the power to issue such certificates, and to issue then at a cost to the citizens The said letter was also a pre-action notice to proceed to court on the failure of the Inspector-General of Police to accede to our request.
vii.The unlawful practice of confiscating the phones of legal practitioners visiting DSS, EFCC and Police offices during the performance of their professional duties: a demand for immediate cessation of the unlawful and discriminatory practice: SPIDEL on the overwhelming complaints of lawyers on the widespread practice of the Police, EFCC and the DSS personnel confiscating their phones in during professional duties at their offices decided to intervene. SPIDEL therefore wrote the said law enforcement agencies vide the letters dated the 10th January, 2024. SPIDEL in the said letters made the point that apart from the fact that the practice of confiscating lawyers’ phone is unconstitutional and illegal, that the practice portends a lot of danger. That the practice curtails lawyers’ abilities to attend to urgent and important phone calls. Furthermore, that SPIDEL has reasons to believe that information could have been extracted from confiscated phones by means of sophisticated electronic devices without the consent and knowledge of the owners of the phones by the law enforcement officers. SPIDEL demanded therefore for the immediate cessation of this unlawful practice. SPIDEL further warned that it may approach the appropriate court of law to seek judicial intervention on the matter if they fail to abide by our request.
viii. ABJ/CS/1285/2023: The matter came up on the 29th of January, 2024 and is adjourned to the 4th of March, 2024.
On the 29th of January, 2024, the President scheduled a meeting for Thursday, the 1st of February, 2024 with the Executive Committee of the Section. However, on the 31st of January, 2024, the Section through the Chairman received a letter titled “the activities of SPIDEL under your leadership.” The letter which was widely circulated on social media before the meeting with the Presidentscheduled for the 1st of February, 2024 sought to suspend the activities of the SPIDEL. The meeting held on the 1st of February and it was resolved at that SPIDEL should respond to the President’s letter of the 31st of January, 2024 in writing first in order to place all material issues on the table and thereafter, the meeting to be reconvened by the
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President. SPIDEL responded to the President’s letter vide a letter dated the 9th of February, 2024. Both letters are incorporated as forming part of this report and attached hereto.
We thank the President, national officers and distinguished members of NEC and members of the Section and those who intend to join for being the reason for our relevance.
Thank you for your valued audience. Dated 9thFebruary, 2023.
John Aikpokpo-Martins Chairman, NBA-SPIDE.
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Dear Aikpokpo-Martins,
I have had cause on several occasions to draw your attention to statements and publications issued at the instance of SPIDEL, with you as Chairman. I have also spoken to you about the need to respect the sanctity of our Constitution, and to maintain order and decorum in the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). You have remained adamant and proceeded as though SPIDEL exists all by itself, independent of the NBA and its structures.
On 21 January 2024, I brought to your attention a blog post shared on social media titled “NBA-SPIDEL Investigates Allegations by Justice Flora Azinge of Attempted Bribery by Unnamed Senior Advocate Nigeria [SAN].” This is a matter in respect of which I had instructed the Chairman of NBA Kano Branch to write to the judge and demand the details of the senior counsel involved in the alleged attempt to bribe the Tribunal. I mentioned the action being taken by my office in my address before the Supreme Court on 27 November 2023. I equally addressed the matter at the last NEC meeting held on 7 December 2023.
The matter was also brought up by me before the National Judicial Council (NJC), and when one of my aides followed up on it with the Chairman of Kano Branch who was following up on it, we were informed that the matter was under investigation by security agency, and we decided to await the outcome of the investigation. You issued that statement without recourse to my office and in absolute disregard of the actions I had taken thereon.
Earlier this year, precisely on 19 January 2024, I drew your attention to another blog post circulated on social media titled “NBA SPIDEL boss Aikpokpo-Martins reiterates call on Edo Government to swear in of 8 Edo Judges designate”. This is a matter that was raised before the NJC at its last meeting. SPIDEL had no business going into it or issuing statements thereon without speaking with or writing to me. If you had attended the NEC meeting of 7 December 2023, you would have known that this matter is being handled at the highest level.
On Sunday 28 January 2024, I, again, brought to your attention via a WhatsApp message the Press Statement issued by the Publicity Secretary of SPIDEL, one Sadiya Saleh, titled “NBA- SPIDEL FILES SUIT AGAINST NYSC, HANNATU MUSA MUSAWA & KENNY OGUNGBE”. By Tuesday, 29 January 2024, I was inundated with telephone calls over the above-mentioned action. I had no prior knowledge of the case and I only got to know about it just as any other person on the streets. Of course, social media platforms reported it as “NBA Sues Kenny Ogungbe, Hannatu Musawa, Culture Minister Over NYSC Certificate”.
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As if that was not enough, my attention was again drawn in the evening of 29 January 2024 of a letter you wrote (signed by you as Chairman with Funmi Adeogun, Secretary of SPIDEL), titled “The UNLAWFUL PRACTICE OF CONFISCATING THE PHONES OF LEGAL PRACTITIONERS VISITING DSS OFFICES THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR PROFESSIONAL DUTIES: A DEMAND FOR IMMEDIATE CESSATION OF UNLAWFUL AND DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICE” , wherein you threatened legal action against the DSS. I was reliably informed that a similar letter has been issued by you to the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
This action has in no small measure affected our work with the security agencies, particularly at a time when we need their intervention with security issues affecting our members. I woke up yesterday morning to the unfortunate news of the kidnap of one of our members from Keffi Branch and my usual recourse to the security agencies for their intervention was almost rebuffed on account of that letter. The subject matter for which you wrote that letter is one that the NBA Security Agencies Relations Committee (SARC) would have properly handled without recourse to your confrontational approach, which is jeopardizing our general interest beyond the alleged inconveniences you claim to address.
You will recall that when I spoke with you on 28 January 2024 and 29 January 2024, I told you that your actions are clearly beyond the mandate of SPIDEL, and that you have proceeded in a manner that undermines the office of the President of the NBA. I referred you to the NBA Constitution as the basis for what SPIDEL can or cannot do, as a Section of the NBA. You, however, insisted that you could do what you have been doing under SPIDEL, in the manner you have gone about it, and that you see nothing wrong with the actions of SPIDEL under your Chairmanship. You described what you have been doing as your work. I, then requested a meeting with the Executive Committee of SPIDEL on Thursday 1 February 2024 to discuss these matters and directed you to inform all the members. You undertook to do so and revert to me, but you have not done so as at the time of writing this letter to you.
This morning, 31 January 2024, I was greeted with yet another social media post titled “NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION CHALLENGES FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S VEHICLE OWNERSHIP LEVY”. Like the previous posts, I did not know about this and there was no approval for it, and those other actions being taken by SPIDEL. While these actions may not be bad in themselves, SPIDEL, as a section of the NBA, cannot continue along this trajectory, ignoring our Rules and Procedure of dealing with matters of this nature.
Aside from the fact that the Constitution recognizes the President of the Bar as the Principal Spokesman of the Association, your actions are not such that SPIDEL can undertake in the manner adopted by you. As one who has served in several positions in the NBA, including being the immediate past 1st Vice President of the NBA, you are aware of these rules, but it appears that your actions are deliberate; to serve other motives other than the interest of the Bar. This cannot continue!
It is imperative to draw your attention to section 17(4) of the Constitution of the NBA 2015 (as amended in 2021) which provides that: “No Section, Section Committee or any of their officers or other representatives, shall represent the Association or hold themselves out as representing the Association in any respect, or take any action in the name of the Association except as authorized by the National Executive Council or the Bye-Law.”Page 96.

Needless to say, your actions have in several respects breached this, and other provisions of the Constitution.
You are therefore, hereby, reminded of the meeting as requested by me, with you and other members of SPIDEL EXCO by 10am on Thursday, 1 February 2024. I requested that you as Chairman, should attend the meeting in person at the National Secretariat, while a Zoom link will be sent to you by which other members who are unable to attend in person can join virtually.
I further direct that you suspend all actions presently being undertaken by SPIDEL, particularly the matters stated above, until the scheduled meeting and further directives as may be approved by the National Executive Council. Also, henceforth, you shall not undertake any engagement with any third party without prior consultation and permission from me as President with the approval of the National Executive Council of the NBA.
Best regards.
Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, OON, SAN

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 Dear Mr. President,
We refer to your leer on the above subject dated 31st January 2024.
You would recall that upon receipt of the leer which was delivered via email, I promptly replied on 1st February 2024 and urged your understanding for me to provide a more detailed response in wring. Suffice it to say that your leer, having been published by at least one news blog even before we received the hard copy, became available to the public at large and especially to our members. This compelled the SPIDEL Execuve Commiee to summon an Extraordinary General Meeng (EGM) under Arcle XIX(b) of the Uniform Bye-Laws of the NBA Constuon 2015 (as amended in 2021).
At the Extraordinary General Meeng held on Sunday, 4th February 2024, the General Meeng mandated me to respond to your leer as appropriate. Permit me therefore to address the issues raised in your leer seriam:
You stated in paragraph 1 of your leer as follows: “I have had cause on several occasions to draw your aenon to statements and publicaons issued at the instance of SPIDEL, with you as Chairman. I have also spoken to you about the need to respect the sancty of our Constuon and to maintain order and decorum in the Nigerian Bar Associaon (NBA). You have remained adamant and proceeded as though SPIDEL exists all by itself, independent of the NBA and its structures.”
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This is not quite correct, Mr. President. Aside from our discussion on Sunday, 28th January 2024, the only other me we spoke on this issue was someme in August 2023 when you frowned at SPIDEL’s involvement in the Kano Elecon Peon Tribunal Bribery Allegaons upon the publicaon of the Secon’s press statement of 16th August 2023. I recall that you were very angry, claiming that I made you look incompetent. I sought to assuage your angst while pledging my unalloyed support and loyalty at all times.
Sometimes in September 2023, I had cause to inform you of a planned visit to the University of Calabar to interrogate the sexual assault allegaons against Prof. Cyril Ndifon, the now-suspended Dean of the Faculty of Law. This followed a SPIDEL press statement on 13th September 2023. You said SPIDEL should steer clear of the maer, saying you would rather send the NBA’s 1st Vice President to invesgate the maer. Indeed, you wondered if I would have allowed anyone to take the shine off me when I was the 1st Vice President of the Associaon. In deference to you, SPIDEL steered clear of both the Kano Elecon Peon Tribunal Bribery and Prof. Cyril Ndifon’s maer to date.
On 21st January 2024, you sent me a blog post tled “NBA-SPIDEL Investigates Allegations by Jusce Flora Azinge of Attempted Bribery by Unnamed Senior Advocate Nigeria [SAN].” You did not accompany the said blog post with any comment or otherwise. Accordingly, I was at a loss as to the intent of the message.
More importantly, this issue had been dealt with by us in August 2023, before the pre-conference National Executive Council Meeting and the Annual General Meeting  in Abuja. It is, therefore, rather uncharitable to suggest that SPIDEL made a press statement in January 2024 on an issue that happened in August 2023. The blog post that you forwarded to me was published on 17th August 2023 and NOT in January 2024.
This is six (6) months aer. We are at a loss why you are resurrecting this issue.
It is also not the case that you had made any statement or taken any action  on the Kano Election Tribunal before SPIDEL issued its Press Statement on 16th August 2023. It is, therefore, untenable to suggest that we issue our statement in disregard of any alleged acons you had taken on the issue at the relevant me.
On 19th January 2024, you again sent me a blog post titled  “NBA SPIDEL boss Aikpokpo-Marns reiterates call on Edo Government to swear in 8 Edo Judges designate.”
Again, you did not accompany the said blog post with any comment.
Indeed, you would recall that the lingering issue of the non-swearing-in of the judges-
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designate was brought to the aenon of the Naonal Execuve Council (NEC) at its last meeng vide my report to NEC as the Chairman of SPIDEL. *Permit me to refer you to pages 88 and 89 of the December 2023 NEC Bundle.* It was aer I rendered my report that you remarked that the Edo State Governor reserves the discreon as to when to swear in the judges. The issue was not discussed, and NEC never took a posion on it. Truly, I was in Benin City but on the invitaon of some NBA branch chairmen and Bar leaders who sought for me to accompany them on visits to the Edo State Chief Judge and Edo State Aorney -General respecvely to advocate on this issue. I then had the privilege of being interviewed by the press on the issue and other maers during my said visit.
On Sunday, 28 January 2024, you forwarded the press statement issued by the Publicity Secretary of SPIDEL titled “NBA-SPIDEL FILES SUIT AGAINST NYSC, HANNATU MUSA MUSAWA & KENNY OGUNGBE.”    
Characteristically, you did not accompany the blog post with any comment or otherwise. Indeed, you forwarded the message to me at 4:25 pm. At exactly 5:50 pm, you telephoned me and queried why I did not respond to your message. I explained that you merely forwarded to me a SPIDEL press statement without more. You immediat ely flew into a rage and threatened to deal with me and with SPIDEL, nong that you have been inundated with calls on the lawsuit. I requested that you point out specifically what SPIDEL has done wrong, assuring you that I would promptly apologize if necessary.
You asked whether what SPIDEL was doing was right; I responded that, to the best of my knowledge, SPIDEL has merely been discharging its mandate within the confines of the NBA Constuon and in pursuit of NBA objecves and the public interest. You again repeated your threat to “deal with SPIDEL.”
Suffice it to note that, being a matter of public concern, Mr. President may be inundated with telephone calls, the identity of the callers notwithstanding. SPIDEL also does not have control over how news outlets cast their headlines. What is clear, however, is that the lawsuit was NOT instituted in the name of the Association.

It is a fact that SPIDEL authored the leers addressed to the Inspector -General of Police, Director General of the Directorate of State Services (DSS) and the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) tled, “The UNLAWFUL PRACTICE OF CONFISCATING THE PHONES OF LEGAL PRACTITIONERS VISITING DSS OFFICES THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR PROFESSIONAL DUTIES: A DEMAND FOR IMMEDIATE CESSATION OF UNLAWFUL AND DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICE.” For the records, the leers were dated 10th January 2024 and del ivered on 26th January 2024. Mr. President had indicated in your leer that “these acons may not be bad in themselves ….” If we may then ask, what is wrong with the leers which are intended primarily to protect the interest and dignity of lawyers?
Most respectfully , Mr. President, we find it rather incongruous that, following the unfortunate kidnap of a lawyer, your “intervention was almost rebuffed on account
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of that leer.” Does it mean that the lives and safety of cizens are now dictated by how public enes feel about steps taken to safeguard cizens’ rights? Further, we do not agree with the view that SPIDEL is encroaching on the dues of the NBA Security Agencies Relaons Commiee (SARC). While Mr. President is at liberty to create sundry commiees to tackle certain issues. It is imperave to note that, as a Secon, the mandate and objecves of SPIDEL are protected by the NBA Constuon. Specifically, Secon 17(1) of the NBA Constuon provides as follows: “There shall be for the Associaon such Secons as the Naonal Execuve Council of the Associaon shall establish to advance the aims and objects of the Associaon.” It may well be the case that it is the NBA commiees that veer into areas expected to be dealt with by SPIDEL. Again, while some enes affected by our public interest intervenons may view the same as “confrontaonal,” it becomes doubly worrisome and discouraging when Mr. President also shares this untenable percepon.

On its part, SPIDEL has a primary mandate to protect the public interest. Consistent with this mandate, SPIDEL wrote the letter titled  “RE: ISSUANCE OF CENTRAL MOTOR REGISTRY INFORMATION SYSTEM (CMRIS) BY THE NIGERIA POLICE FORCE: A DEMAND FOR THE IMMEDIATE STOPPAGE OF SAME.”
The letter was dated 29th January 2024 and delivered to the Inspector General of Police the same day.
Mr. President, in your letter  under reference, you accused SPIDEL of “ignoring our Rules and Procedures of dealing with matter  of this nature.” Suffice it to note that you did not state the specific “Rules and Procedure” that were breached by SPIDEL. Perhaps as a clue, you indicated “Like the previous posts, I did not know about this, and there was no approval for it, and those other acons being taken by SPIDEL.” Again, in purportedly banning the acvies of SPIDEL, you stated that “henceforth, you shall not undertake any engagement with any third party without prior consultation and permission from me as President with the approval of the National  Executive Council of the NBA.” It would therefore seem that Mr. President is under the mistaken perception that SPIDEL must obtain “permission” or “approval” from him before embarking on any of its activities. We do not, with respect, think that the drafters of the NBA Constitution envisaged that NBA Section would be micro- managed by the NBA President. Indeed, the NBA Constitution does NOT support such approvals or permission. This fact is borne out by the relevant provisions of the NBA Constitution and the Uniform Bye-Laws for Section. Permit me to set out a few of these provisions for ease of reference.

• *ART. XI(c) of the Uniform Bye -Laws provides as follows: “Dues: The Executive Committee of the Section shall have general supervision and control of the affairs of the Section, subject to: any restrictions which the National  Executive Council of the Association may, from


me to me, impose;
any decision duly taken at the General Meeting of the Section  and These Bye-Laws:
X • ART XI(h) of the Uniform Bye-Laws provides as follows: “ *General Authority: The Execuve Commiee of the Secon may act on behalf of the Secon concerning all maers relevant to the Secon during intervals between their General Meengs.”* From the foregoing provisions, it is clear that the NBA Constuon has not accorded Mr. President any role howsoever in the management, control, and supervision of SPIDEL in parcular and NBA Secons in general. It bears repeang that no provision in the NBA Constuon mandates SPIDEL to seek “permission” or “approval” from Mr. President before carrying out its acvies. Indeed, Arcle XXI of the Uniform Bye – Laws provides that “ *The Secon shall design their acvies, subject to the approval of its (sic) Execuve Commiee of the Secon.”*

For the avoidance of doubt, the only constuonal role given to the NBA President about Secons is the appointment of a Liaison Officer. Arcle X(b) of the Uniform Bye – Laws for Secons provides that “The President of the Associaon shall appoint any senior Staff of the Associaon as a liaison Officer to the Secon.” Arcle X(c) of the Uniform Bye-Laws also provides that “The Liaison Officer shall report to the President of the Associaon as well as provide where required of him or her informaon required by officers of the Secon in support of their dues.” It is instrucve that aside from the fact Mr. President has duly appointed a Liaison Officer for the Secon, SPIDEL has been working in harmony with the Liaison Officer.


The NBA Constuon is clear as to the enty that has a supervisory role over SPIDEL. Accordingly, Arcle XXII of the Uniform Bye -Laws provides as follows: “Supervision/Report: The Secon shall be under the supervision of the Naonal Execuve Council, and as such each Secon shall present Annual Report at the Annual General Meeng (AGM) of the Associaon.” It is therefore clear that Mr. President has no supervisory role whatsoever over SPIDEL or NBA Secons. To aempt to do so is to usurp the powers duly vested in the Naonal Execuve Council by the NBA Constuon.

C. SECTION 17(4) OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE NBA 2015 (AS AMENDED IN 2021) In your leer, you drew our aenon to Secon 17(4) of the NBA Constuon 2015 (as amended in 2021) and alleged as follows: “Needless to say, your acons have in several respects breached this, and other provisions of the Constuon.” We note that the facts do not bear out this conclusion.

Secon 17(4) of the NBA Constuon provides: “No Secon, Secon Commiee or any of their officers or other representaves, shall represent the Associaon or hold


themselves out as represenng the Associaon in any respect, or take any acon in the name of the Associaon except as authorized by the Naonal Execuve Council or the Bye-Law.”

It is noteworthy that SPIDEL has never held itself out as represenng the Associaon either in press statements or in cases instuted in court. All press statements were duly issued in the name of the Secon while all the cases instuted by SPIDEL were done in our names as follows: “John Aikpokpo-Marns; Funmi Adeogun; chairman and secretary respecvely, for themselves and on behalf of members of NBA -SPIDEL”. SPIDEL has not in any way breached the aforesaid secon of the NBA Constuon. This is even though Mr. President conceded that SPIDEL’s “actions may not be bad in themselves.”
SPIDEL Conference on Religious Tolerance.  

You will recall that sometimes after the killing of Usman Buda in Sokoto in June 2023 for alleged blasphemy, I informed you vide a telephone call on 1st July 2023 of SPIDEL’s plan to organize a conference on religious tolerance. I noted that I had made contact with the Muslim Lawyers Associaon of Nigeria (MULAN) through its President, among others. It was to be the first major program following my election as SPIDEL Chairman.
You said you would prefer the Association to take up the initiative.
I deferred to you. I thereaer called you to follow up on the planned dialogue. To date, nothing has been done about the program.
Yearly Renewal of Proof of Ownership.
You may recall that on 24th July 2023, I was in your office at the National  Secretariat to brief you on our meeting with SYC Technologies Limited on the yearly renewal of Proof of Ownership certificates at a mandatory fee of N1,000. We intended to sue the company, the Federal Government, and the Lagos State Government, given the additional hardship the scheme will wreak on citizens. You requested that I arrange another meeng with the company. The meeng was eventually fixed for 2nd August 2023 in your office. While we all assembled in your office on the said date, you never turned up for the meeng. I called you to follow up, but you neither answered nor returned my calls.
Again, on 9th September 2023, I sent you a WhatsApp text message that I wanted to discuss some urgent SPIDEL matters, but you did not respond.
On 11th September 2023, at exactly 5 pm, I forwarded the draft processes of the proof of ownership case we intended to file for your information. I also sought your


approval to sue in the name of the Associaon. You never responded. Having not received your permission, SPIDEL opted to file the lawsuit (Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1285/2023) in the name of its chairman, secretary, and another member, and for and on behalf of SPIDEL members.
Re: Case of Chief Judge of Federal Capital Territory.
You may also recall that around 1 pm on 2nd August 2023, you telephoned me and directed that SPIDEL cease all actions on its leer dated 24th August 2023 titled  “A HUMBLE REQUEST FOR CLARIFICATION ON THE ALLEGED RELEASE OF MR. CHUMA NZERIBE FROM THE KUJE CORRECTIONAL CENTER ABUJA.
As you are aware, we had written to the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory to clarify the allegation that the Honourable Chief Judge – under the guise of a prison visit on 24th May 2023 – unlawfully released from the Kuje Correctional Centre, Hon. Chuma Nzeribe, a convict who was on 24th May 2022, sentenced to a 7 (seven) year jail term by Hon. Jusce Yusuf Halilu of FCT High Court 14 sing in Wuse. You had assured us that you would revert to us on the issue. To dat e, SPIDEL has yet to hear from you on this serious maer, which has grave implicaons for Nigeria’s criminal jusce administraon. It is noteworthy that this maer was discussed at the SPIDEL General Meeng held on 31st August 2023 on the sidelines of the 2023 Annual General Conference. The minutes of the meeng will bear this out. The issue was also highlighted in the SPIDEL Report to the Pre-Conference NEC Meeng in August 2023, parcularly on page 221 of the NEC bundle.

On 24th August 2023, I sought your approval vide a WhatsApp message sent at 9:18 am. for SPIDEL to observe the Edo State Local Government Election to be held on 2nd September 2023. Mr. President did not respond to the request.
On the same day, 24th August 2023 at exactly 5:21 pm, I forwarded to you a news report by CITY LAWYER news blog titled  “FAMILY BLAMES LASUTH, EVERCARE HOSPITAL OVER DEATH OF LAGOS LAWYER” (available at hps://citylawyermag.com/family -blames-lasuth-evercare-hospital-over-death-of- lagos-lawyer/). I accompanied the same with the following note: “NBA-SPIDEL is interested in taking up this maer with the view of bringing the medical instuons involved to book. I thought it fit to inform you, seeing that the vicm is a lawyer.” You have not responded to date.
We invited Mr. President to our SPIDEL Leaders’ Reunion Dinner initially scheduled to be held on the 1st floor of NBA House on 28th August 2023 on the sidelines of the Annual General Conference. Not only did you fail to dignify us with a response; you went a step further to lock us out and bar us from use of the NBA hall on the day of.
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the scheduled dinner. Needless to say, this acon occasioned grave inconvenience to SPIDEL and our invited Bar Leaders, more as the venue had long been adversed. We scrambled to deploy another venue at very short notice and at great cost to the section.
CONCLUSION. Mr. President, arising from the foregoing, it is our firm belief that SPIDEL has never undermined your office. On the contrary, it would seem that Mr. President has – willingly  or otherwise – impeded many laudable SPIDEL initiatives aimed at promoting  NBA objectives, the rule of law, and the public interest. Indeed, SPIDEL would have been rendered comatose had it relied solely on your “permission” or “approval” to carry out its activities, seeing that it has virtually received none after several efforts. Instructively, you have made the saying, “the legal practitioner  lives for the direction of his people and the advancement of the cause of his Country” (Sir Christopher Alexander Sapara Williams) your core mantra. Again, in your statement to mark the 2023 INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY, you stated “We have a crucial role to play in society and that is not something to be treated with levity or taken lightly. We must work daily to uphold the rights of Nigerians because human rights are the catalyst for the development we seek.” This is all that SPIDEL has consistently striven to do.
Suffice it to state that any fair-minded observer will come to the inescapable conclusion that all SPIDEL activities have been guided by the provisions of the NBA Constitution and the Uniform Bye-Laws for Section. The Section  has consistently made reports of its activities to NEC under Arcle XXII of the Uniform Bye-Laws for Sections . These activities have been conducted in a manner as to promote the aims and objectives of the Association. While it is true that our actions  are deliberate, it is untenable to contend that such actions  are aimed “to serve other moves other than the interest of the Bar.”

Mr. President, as stated earlier, under the howbeit curious publication of your letter to the whole world, the Executive Committee of SPIDEL convened an Extraordinary General Meeting  (EGM) to deliberate on the issues raised.
This is more when you directed the leadership of the Section  to “suspend all actions  presently being undertaken by SPIDEL, particularly the matters  stated above, until  the scheduled meeting and further directives as may be approved by the National  Executive  Council.” You further directe d SPIDEL “not undertake any engagement with any third party without prior consultaon and permission from me as President with the approval of the Naonal Execuve Council of the NBA.”.
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Upon an extensive deliberaon on your leer, the Extraordinary General Meeng RESOLVED as follows: That SPIDEL views as highly worrisome and the publication of your leer even before the same was delivered to the Section;  

By the said publication , Mr. President may have exposed SPIDEL’s Chairman, Mr. John Aikpokpo-Marns, to harm’s way, given the apparent disclaimer issued regarding SPIDEL’s acvies and especially as it concerns the security agencies;

SPIDEL views your ‘direcves’ suspending its acvies as null, void, and of no effect whatsoever, given that such direcves are ultra vires your powers as NBA President and amount to a breach of the provisions of the constuon of the Associaon. For the avoidance of doubt, the meeng directed the Execuve Commiee to connue to implement programs aimed at promong public interest and hamstringing official impunity.

SPIDEL restates its solemn commitment to the promoon of the rule of law. Accordingly, SPIDEL will connue to make its best efforts to work with Mr. President towards fostering the aims and objecves of the Associaon, even as it shall firmly defend the NBA Constuon and the public interest no maer whose ox is gored. Please accept the assurances of our highest consideraon and esteem.

Yours Respectfully,
John Aikpokpo-Marns, Esq. Chairman, NBA-SPIDEL.
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