Disqualified Candidate, Victor Giwa Cries Out, NBA To Reinstate Him

Victor Giwa, a disqualified candidate for the Chairmanship of the NBA Garki Branch 2024 Election, is pleading with the NBA President, Y C Maikyau, (SAN) to reconsider and reinstate him. Giwa accuses the NBA Branch Elections Appeal Committee, led by A A Ibrahim (SAN), of acting with bias and partisanship.

Giwa's disqualification stems from documented allegations of misconduct including deploying thugs to carry out n illegal eviction in Abuja. He is scheduled to be arraigned on July 3, 2024, on an eight-count charge filed by the Hon. Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice involving illegal eviction and other criminal infractions. Additionally, Giwa has cases pending before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC).

The NBA Elections Appeal Committee based its decision onthe principle that it undermines the integrity of the Bar for its leader to be embroiled in criminal litigation. They argued that being involved in such legal battles, standing in the dock and struggling to save his neck in criminal litigation, would affecthis ability to concentrate on running a responsible Bar if elected.

Consequently, Giwa's name was removed from the list of candidates, and he is barred from participating in the election until he resolves the pending issues and provides evidence of their resolution.

Furthermore, Giwa was disqualified for failing to meet the required attendance of five branch meetings within the previous twelve months, as stipulated by the Uniform Bye Laws. The Committee verified that the electoral committee incorrectly extended the attendance period to enable Giwa and one other candidate to qualify, which contravenes the prescribed rules.

The Committee's unanimous decision reflects a strict adherence to the provisions of Article 14 (1)(b) of the Uniform By-laws, emphasizing the importance of compliance with established regulations. Consequently, both candidates have been disqualified from participating in the forthcoming branch election.

The Nigerian Bar has faced several allegations of misconduct in recent years, highlighting the importance of selecting candidates who embody the highest ethical standards to avoid further tarnishing the reputation of the legal profession in Nigeria.

SEE PROTEST LETTER BELOW:

VICTOR GIWA ESQ.

17 Yaoundé Street, Wuse, Zone 6, Abuja

18th June 2024

THE PRESIDENT,

NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION

NATIONAL SECRETARIAT,

ABUJA.

Sir,​​​​

MANIFEST BIAS, PARTISANSHIP AND UNCONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE ACTION AND DECISION OF NBA BRANCH ELECTION APPEAL COMMITEE

1. My President, Greetings to you and the entire members of the executives. I write as one of the Chairmanship candidates of NBA Garki Branch 2024 Election.

2. Sir, I am constrained to write you this letter of protest against the action and the decision of theNBA BRANCH ELECTION APPEALCOMMITEE headed by Abdul Ibrahim (SAN).

3. Sir, I was nominated, screened and cleared by the Branch electoral Committee sometime in April, 2024 and the list of qualified candidates were officially unveiled on May 4th 2024, where in campaign ban was lifted.

4. In line with the article 22 of the Uniform by law of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) no petition was made against any candidate during the period of the screening and 7 days after as provide by the Constitution.

5. However, sometimes in May 2024 one AsabeWaziri, a member of the public wrote a Petition titled: ALLEGED DOCUMENTED MISCONDUCT OF VICTOR GIWA'sCANDIDACY RAISES ETHICAL CONCERNS., against me.

6.The substance of the Petition which I am informed was also addressed to you Mr President, was that I had levied eviction against her in pursuance of a court judgement without the enforcement unit of the FCT High Court. Besides, there was a Court of Appeal Order to main status quo which I did not obey hence she had written a petition against me to the Legal Practitioner Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) which according to her is considering her petition. The issue of a criminal charge preferred against me by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) on what was tagged “illegal eviction”' was also raised in the petition.

7. In My response, I denied all the allegations and principally stated that the totality of the content of Asabe's petition are all matters before the court.

Namely, Asabe V Victor Giwa & others, is before Hon Justice Babangida FCT High Court 22 IN Suit No: CV/927/2022.

8. The Petitioner instituted the action to determine whether the said eviction was done by the court or it was illegal.

9. The Issue of the Interim Order of the Court of Appeal was subsisting at the Court of Appeal in Appeal No: CA/ABJ/CV/246/2022 and at such only little can be said about the issue as that will amount to subjudice of matter pending before the court.

10. There after there was another petition against my candidacy and that of one Ogechi Anuke contesting for secretary by one AG Samuel stating that I did not meet the constitutional 5 meetings requirement tocontest the election. This was the 2nd Petition.

MY GROUSE, THE BIAS OF THE COMMITTEE & PREMEDITATED AGENDA

11. The Committee sent me a copy of the Petition and expected my response accordingly. In my response I denied all the allegations and contended that besides my denial of the allegation with particulars, the jurisdiction of the Committee has not been invoked, as an Appeal committee, its jurisdiction can only be invoked by an aggrieved member (s) from a branch; after the branch's Election committee has taken a decision with regard to the qualification or otherwise of the candidate.

12. I further submitted that a Petitioner has only 7 days within which to appeal to the Appeal committee and within 5 days after the Committee has communicated their decision to the Petitioner.

13. Moreso, NBA Garki Branch's Electoral Committee in it reply sent to me, submitted that it has no jurisdiction to look at the petitions against any candidates as the time to look at any petition has elapsed.

14. However, without considering and ruling onthese issues viz (1) whether they had jurisdiction to receive, collect and consider such petition especially from (non-members of NBA) or member of the public, and (2) , whether the time to receive such petition has not elapsed under theconstitution (3) whether the NBA Appeal Committee can on its own receive petition not first referred to the Branch Election committee.(4) whether any person not being a candidate to the election can invoke it jurisdiction as an Appeal committee? On Monday 10th June I received the decision of the NBA Branch Appeal Committee through the Secretary, which stated ‘…that I have been disqualified as a candidate for the election having not meet with the constitutional 5 meetingswith in the stated 12 months prior to the close of nomination….''

The decision to my mind is with respect hasty, unfair, premeditated and questionable; I have attended the meeting of the branch in February, 2023 , as the chairman of the Branch's inaugural committee and I have my complete 5 meetings.

15. Sir, my disqualification now opens the windows for further petitions as other petitions started coming in with regard to the other candidates as they were also ineligible or disqualified for same or similar constitutional requirements.

16. But unfortunately, we are yet to see the decision of the Committee on Petitions written by two members of the branch, Uchenna ChukwuezeEjimofor and Paschal Tochukwu Nnaji against the candidates of – Olaranwaju Ojo, Bamidele Ojo(Chairman Ship candidates) and others.

THE MOST WORRISOME MATTER

17. Mr President, I had called the secretary of the NBA Branch Appeal Committee to find out about the Asabe Wariri petition which was first in time and more voluminous. The secretary assured me that the decision will be made on the petition and the decision will be communicated to me.

THE BIAS AND PARTISANSHIP

18. Unfortunately, and sadly sir. While I was on my bed within the hours of 11pm to 12am on the 18thJune 2024, I got a forwarded report of the NBA Branch Election committee directing that “my name be removed from the list of contestants in the NBA Garki Branch Election.”' This report was never served to me or communicated to me. I was not given the fair hearing of getting my response or knowing the decision of committee on the petition against me before it was sent to members of the Public and principally to my opponents.

19. The decision of the committee was ridiculous as the Appeal committee delved into the case before the court, presumed me guilty of a charge that I never knew exited; the same charge was served on me on the instruction of the members of the committee and served on me by the petitioner herself on the 4th of June 2024 and on the same date she did a video recording to the members of the committee to show evidence of such service.

20. Sir, the report/decision of the NBA Branch Appeal Committee on the Petition of AsabeWaziri was forwarded to me today 18th June, 2024 at 12:00am from the watsup page of one of my chairmanship opponents in the election. And till date the Appeal committee has not avail me their decision/report on the petition against me. WHAT A SHAME.

21. I therefore shows and I can conclude and confirms that the NBA BRANCH APPEAL COMMITTEE jurisdiction was maliciously invoked against me by my opponent or they are working in sync and have been doing the bidding of my opponents and has allowed themselves to be used as instrument and tool to hound me down the election process to pave way for their preferred candidates. The pressure asserted on the Chairman of the Garki branch by the Chairman of the Appeal Committee speaks volume. The aim was to achieve the bidding of their “sponsors”.

22. It is Sad that my candidacy should elicit so much fear that they have to deploy all illegal means to disqualify my candidacy.

23. Following this development, I am constrained to state that I have lost confidence in theINTERGRITY OF NBA BRANCH ELECTORAL COMMITTEE MEMBERS, haven allowed themselves to be used against my candidacy. It is evident that their mission ab initio was to disqualify me and pave way for my political opponent. This mission they seem to have procured for my opponents who have expressed confidence that I will be disqualified from contesting the election.

PRAYERS

I therefore solicit and appeal to you Mr Presidentto do the following:

1. Disband the committee

2. Review the decision of the committee with respect to all the Petitions

3. Allow all candidates to either contest the election or disqualify the undeserving members.

Thank you, Mr President.

#####

Victor Giwa

NBA Garki Chairmanship Candidates 2024 Election.

1. Cc: CHAIRMAN,

NBA BRANCH APPEAL COMMITTEE

2. CHAIRMAN,

NBA GARKI BRANCH

3. CHAIRMAN, ELECTORAL COMMITTEE

4. NBA GARKI BRANCH.

Last updated on July 11th, 2024 at 12:13 am

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