Disregard for constitutional provisions by those vying to lead the Kano branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has occasioned the disqualification of a number of contestants to the executive position of the branch.
Some of those contesting for the various executive positions in the branch, including the chairmanship position, have been caught up with the provision of the NBA provision which bars anyone who has held any executive position twice from contenting again until after a period of five years.
Judicial Sketch learnt that the two chairmanship contestants, Amiu Sani Gadanya and Ibrahim Graba Waru have served as NEC representative/secretary and assistant secretary/secretary respectively in two previous tenures and are, by virtue of the said constitutional provision not eligible to contest this year, according to the branch’s election committee.
The branch’s 2020 election commission chairman, Tajedeen A. O. Funsho explained that “There were about 18 nominations for various positions, and after we have conducted verifications, we realized that about five of them did not meet the criteria to contest and we wrote to inform them to disqualify them based on law. But we also informed them of their rights to seek review to their disqualification, also based on law.
“The provisions that they have been found to have not fulfilled stem from Articles 4(1), 6(3), 9 and 15 of the Third Schedule of the Bye Law to the NBA Constitution as amended.
He said those who have been caught up with the provisions included those vying for the positions of chairman, vice chairman, secretary, provost and publicity secretary.
Funsho discarded the insinuations that his committee was under any pressure to overlook constitutional requirements and allow candidates to contest unfettered, saying the only thing he was aware of was that they received various ideas, advice and perspectives from various quarters but “our final decision was ours.”
He assured that his committee was only been loyal to the letter and tenet of the constitution, saying “we have no favoured candidate among them.”
He said all the decisions of the committee on the matter of disqualification of candidates were unanimous. “We had a meeting of minds on these issues.”
Other members of the committee include Sani Ahmad Muhammad, secretary; Sufyan Iliyasu Muhammad, legal adviser; Hajiya Fatima Garba Yakasai, financial secretary/treasurer; and Mattellah J. Ellah, publicity sectreary.
Some of the disqualified contestants who brought their applications for the review of their qualification to the committee have argued that the provision was not supposed to apply retrospectively to them, but other lawyers in the state have argued otherwise.
Others disqualified candidates have said that the positions they held previously did not place them in the executive committee sit and hence they could not be said to have served in the executive.