The temporarily stalled electoral process of the Kano branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) may soon resume, Judicial Sketch has learnt.
A release circulated by the branch’s assistant secretary, Ibrahim M.G. Sagagi, early Thursday indicated that some of the aspirants to the branch’s elective positions who have been disqualified by the electoral committee (ELCOM) have succumbed to the plea of the panel of bar leaders that was constituted to mediate among aggrieved aspirants, and have either withdrawn their appeals or their interest to contest, except two who gave conditions.
Sagagi wrote in the branch’s WhatsApp group:
“It may please our esteemed members to recall that on 11th May 2020, the EXCO of the Kano Branch haven been disturbed by the events bedeviling the forthcoming Elections called an extended emergency Exco meeting with past chairmen and immediate past Secretary of the Branch in attendance, sequel to which a committee of Elders comprising of Prof. Mamman Lawal SAN, Chief M.N. Duru, Esq, Shuaibu Sule, Esq, Abdulrazaq Aikawa, Esq and Sagir Gezawa, Esq was formed with the specific and clear mandate to reach out to the aspirants into the office of chairman of the Branch; A. S. Gadanya, Esq and I. G. Waru, Esq and plead with them to withdraw their petitions filed at the National Body and appreciate them on behalf of the entire Kano Bar for their interest to serve the Branch.
“Furthermore the committee should also extend same appreciation messages to other aspirants, including I. A. Buba Esq, S. M. Tahir Esq, Tijjani Ibrahim, Esq and Aminu Kawu, Esq who have expressed interest to serve as vice chairman, Secretary, publicity secretary and provost, respectively but were also disqualified.
“The Committee met with all concerned and realized that Ibrahim Buba has also petitioned the National body against his disqualification.
“The Committee Concluded it’s work and reported to the Exco that I. A. Buba esq whom have also filed a petition agreed to withdraw his petition in the overall interest of the Branch and the committee thanked him for that.
“With regards to other aspirants for the other elective positions who have not petitioned against their disqualification, the Committee met with Salisu M. Tahir, Tijjani Ibrahim and Aminu Kawu. The Committee thanked them first for their interest to serve the Branch and secondly for accepting wholeheartedly the decision of the ELCOM. The Committee encouraged them to aspire for more leadership positions in the future. Salisu M. Tahir esq on behalf of the candidates appreciated the Committee for the honour done to them.
“The Exco wish to further thank I. A. Buba esq, Salisu M. Tahir esq, Tijjani Ibrahim esq and Aminu Kawu for their resolve to consider the overall interest of the Branch.
“The Exco also appreciates Aminu Sani Gadanya esq and Ibrahim G. Waru esq for their magnanimity in accepting to withdraw their petitions with conditions to please consider our plight in the overall interest of one united association by withdrawing their petitions at the national Body unconditionally as Bar leaders.
The Executive Committee of the Branch haven explored all possible ways to resolve the lingering problems of the Branch Has resolved to allow the ELCOM to continue with their activities within the purview of the law”, he concluded.
Branch officials refused to comment on the conditions given by Aminu Sani Gadanya and Ibrahim G. Waru but Judicial Sketch learnt from a reliable source that both of them have insisted that they will only withdraw their appeals if they would be allowed to contest by the branch ELCOM.
This, no doubt, is an impasse as the ELCOM has already said that their disqualification stands and has as well gone ahead to call for new nomination and published names of candidates it has screened and cleared to contest.
Recall that the national secretariat of the NBA wrote to the ELCOM, asking it to suspend the electoral process pending the determination of Gadanya and Waru’s appeal, an order the ELCOM and other members of the branch said the national secretariat lacks the powers to give, considering that NBA constitution provides that the decision of ELCOM is final in this regard. They said even the appeal panel put in place by the national body was unconstitutional.
Judicial Sketch reported earlier that the sister branch to Kano, the Ungogo branch of the NBA, had similar political crisis, even though the national secretariat has not asked for the suspension of the electoral process in the branch.