Reactions have continued to trail the ‘non clearance of one of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Presidential aspirant Mazi Afam Osigwe by the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA). While many saw the non-clearance as a temporary action by the ECNBA which would be reviewed, others felt it was an injustice which needs to be rectified immediately
One of the Presidential aspirants who has been vocal on issues concerning the bar, Prof. Ernest Ojukwu SAN has also expressed his view on the non-clearance.
Speaking exclusively to DNL Legal and Style, Prof said:
“Since he has taken the steps under the Rules to explain the queries by the Electoral Committee, I believe that the Committee would be fair and unbiased with a review of his case.”
“The Committee should therefore be allowed to do their work. Based on what I read in the media, one arm of the case is based on facts and the other arm based on interpretation. I will urge the Committee to investigate the facts thoroughly and let the facts speak for itself. On interpretation I will urge the use of literal rule and since this is a Constitutional matter if there is any ambiguity let our contra preferentum rule apply against the maker (NBA) in favour of the member (citizen).”
“Any decision by the Committee would guide actions of the Bar in the Future. I trust this Committee. The Members are persons of very high integrity”.
It would be recalled that on Thursday, June 14, 2018, the ECNBA published the list of aspirants who were cleared to run for the various offices during the forthcoming NBA national election after a screening exercise on documents submitted by the aspirants.
Out of the four contestants to the office of the President, Mazi Afam Osigwe was ‘not cleared’ to run by the ECNBA. The reasons for his non clearance was also subsequently communicated to him via a letter by the ECNBA. Mazi has also in a six pages response clarified the issues raised by the ECNBA.
It is now up to the ECNBA to deliver its verdict on the information presented by the affected aspirant.
All the other presidential aspirants contacted for their reaction preferred to remain silent for on the issue.