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Emperor Usoro Suspends NBA Constitution Unilaterally Waived Qualification To Vote And Be Voted For…Aigbe Oluwaseun


The Rule of Law has disappeared, we are now ruled by the whims and caprices of men.

States, associations and people all over the world have a Supreme Law or body of rules that usually spell out the system of government, regulation, participation, rights and obligations even associations of Lawyers all over the world not exempted

These body of rules are sacrosanct to governance and those who administer governance must as a rule do so in accordance with the tenets of both moral laws and good conscience as well as the unique laws of the land or association.

Little wonder as an integral part of assumption of office is oath taking, to uphold and be bound by the laws of the nation and or association as these laws should regulate the conduct and activities of office holders in matter relating to governance and not according to caprices and whims of such incumbents as it is by the same laws that they obtained the legitimacy of leadership.

Indeed, without a constitution (laws), the actions of any government would be according to the whims and caprices of each incumbent and subject to the levels of maturity, morality and exposure both religious and otherwise of such incumbent which would render Rights and duties meaningless, Truth and justice in such a world would fall to the ground, Lawlessness, chaos and directionlessness will reign supreme little wonder John Locke(1689) rightly posited “Where Law ends, Tyranny begins”

Permit my long introduction however same is essential in appreciating my consternation when I read yesterday on a circular purportedly released by the General Secretary of our noble association, Mr Jonathan Taidi that the president of the association Mr Paul Usoro SAN has “reduced the monthly meetings required for eligibility to vote under Article 16 (1) of the Uniform Bye-Laws for Branches from five (5) meetings to a minimum of three (3) meetings in view of the lockdown occasioned by and restrictions imposed due to Covid-19 pandemic which made it impracticable to hold branch meetings in March, April and May of 2020”

I began to wonder how the General Secretary of NBA, Jonathan Gunu Taidi considered it appropriate, ethical, reasonable, responsible and legal to let the following words flow from the hallowed chambers of the NBA Secretariat? Can the NBA President arbitrarily amend the provisions of the NBA constitution? Does he have the powers to? From Where does he derive the powers from?

It’s is also worrisome that the General Secretary in the same post failed to afford right thinking members of the association even a glimmer of respect by anchoring the said dictates of the president on any of the provisions of the NBA Constitution 2015 as amended in order to assuage our legal minds

The General Secretary’s circular becomes more alarming when read in consonance with the other parts of the text especially where he said “This exercise of discretion will be presented for ratification at the National Executive Committee Meeting of the Nigerian Bar Association”

There is an ominous sense of certainty conveyed by the statement, a self assured presumption that NEC of a certain will ratify the said “exercise of discretion”

One wonders how does the General Secretary know for sure that NEC will ratify this reckless exercise of discretion by the president which is against the clear wordings of constitution of the association!? Is the General Secretary by this suggesting that the Association NEC is now an appendage of the office of the President existing to do his bidding and rubber stamp whatever he does? Is he suggesting that the NBA NEC will be an accessory to the flagrant breach of the associations constitution?

What if this arbitrary exercise of the president is not ratified by NEC? What happens then? from the assurance exhibited in the General Secretary’s circular,it would seem we are back to the Abacha days, where the constitution of the country was suspended and ousted for the whims and caprices of our great emperor Abacha dished out as decrees to his subjects!

Wouldn’t it have been apt if the General Secretary had titled his circular Decree 1 of 3rd of June 2020, that would’ve saved me sleepless night scouring the Length and breath of the NBA Constitution 2015 as amended seeking for a provision in same that would cloak with legality the Presidents Arbitrary amendment of the provisions of same!!!

There is today public perception that the current National Assembly is an appendage of the executive only existing to carry out the whims of the government of the day, can the same fate be what has befallen the almighty NEC of our great association?

Oh! My great NBA, what has befallen you? Great is our calamity that an association of lawyers is now administered on the whims and caprices of the incumbent of the hallowed office of the OPNBA! Could this be the reason the office of National Legal Adviser of our association was scrapped in the 2019 amendment by the President of the association?

All hail Emperor Usoro!!!

I leave all legal minds to regurgitate on the above, To be continued!!!!!!!

Aigbe Oluwaseun writes from Abuja, North Central Nigeria

Lex Community
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