Some interesting developments:
The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Mr. Paul Usoro may be facing a N600m lawsuit, if Caroline Ajie, the self-acclaimed “Dame of the Bar,” makes good her threat. Caroline Ajie who was a strong supporter of the PUSAN candidacy has launched a full swell campaign of calumny against Mr. Usoro her erstwhile candidate.
As gleaned from a copy of the proposed court processes which Dame Carol has circulated by email, the crux of the suit is that Mr. Usoro SAN reneged on his promise to assign to the ‘Dame’, some post-election roles, specifically; membership of the National Judicial Council (NJC) and Body of Benchers and IBA Council. She claimed this was the promise made to her by the President in return for her support for his candidacy.
She would be asking the court to restrain the NBA President from nominating and or composing a list of three IBA Council members representing the Nigerian Bar Association, five NJC members and Body of Benchers nominees without her. In the alternative, she asks the court to grant her damages in the sum of N600million against Mr. Usoro alone. She would be suing three Defendants, viz; Mr. Paul Usoro SAN, Abdulrasheed Oladimeji Esq. former Chief of Staff NBA a and Ms. Becca Verhagen described by Caroline Ajie as the Head of Bar Issues Commission of the International Bar Association.
However, facts made available to us from the camp of the NBA President reveals that Carol Ajie’s recent attack is not unconnected with the refusal of the NBA President to allow her unilaterally and without consultation nominate persons including herself to the IBA council membership.
From the email sent to the IBA by Carol Ajie, she informed the IBA that in consultation with the NBA President and with his full consent, she is nominating three persons to fill in the position of Council members in the IBA. Dame Ajie sent the email on August 31 with Mr. Usoro SAN in copy. The email reads:
Subject: IBA COUNCIL FORM RETURNED
The NBA elected a new set of officers who were sworn-in on the 31st August 2018
Please find attached the IBA Council form completed.
After week-long consultations with the newly elected President of NBA, Mr Paul Usoro SAN, whom I successfully worked for during the hard campaigns and when he won he granted me the indulgence of advising him in these and related matters. I am happy to forward the completed form of the IBA council members as follows:
- Mr Paul Usoro SAN, FCIArb The President of the Nigerian Bar Association(NBA)
2. Ms Carol Ajie, LL.M (Int’l Legal Studies) Georgetown
3. Mr Jonathan Taidi, the General Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association.
NBA President Paul Usoro SAN is in copy, our Leader and he will be guiding us.
When the above email came to the attention of Mr. Usoro SAN, he promptly repudiated the claims by Dame Carol Ajie thereby drawing her irks.
Below is Mr. Usoro’s email
Your mail below was brought to my attention only yesterday, 09 October 2018, by the IBA officials; I had missed the copy that you sent to me. I’m surprised and alarmed that you unilaterally filled out and submitted the IBA Council Form and also sent the mail without any discussion with me and without the NBA’s authorization.
As you must know, good order demands that communication on behalf of the NBA be carried out only by its officials, elected or otherwise and even then, with due authorization. With great respect, you do not fall into those categories of NBA officials and you did not have the mandate of the NBA to complete and submit the IBA Council Form and/or communicate any information to the IBA.
It is also not correct that I “granted” you “the indulgence of advising” me on the IBA nominations “and related matters” neither did I consent to or nominate you to the IBA Council. I feel constrained in the circumstance to expressly repudiate to the IBA both the Council Form that you submitted and your mail below.
(Full email exchange is herewith attached.)
The question begging for some answers would be whether Dame Carol Ajie’s recent attack is as a result of the above development? It would also be interesting to know whether her nomination to the IBA Council by the President would have stopped her full scale allegations against the President.
Email threads attached
Proposed Court processes attached