Prof. Ernest Ojukwu SAN one of the three Presidential contestant in the recently concluded NBA National Election has taken a swipe on the winner of the Presidential Election Mr. Paul Usoro SAN over his request for a synergy among the Presidential contestants.
Ojukwu in a statement made afterwards stated that the letter was written in bad faith for the reasons he highlighted below:
I regret to state that your letter written jointly to me and Mr Okafor was written in bad faith.
You commenced your letter with a claim that you called me and that I did not take your call. When I refuted this claim, you posted a WhatsApp log where you stated that you called and that my telephone was switched off. If this was true that my telephone was switched off, on what basis did you then claim that I did not take your call? If you had made an honest mistake, the natural thing would be to apologise for that but instead in trying to defend the defenseless, you posted a WhatsApp log and intentionally included an unrelated private chat we had early in the year. In character you did not also show the entire discussion of that unrelated chat.
On 23rd August 2018 my telephone was on and assuming that you had called once and you could not connect, would it not have been a natural thing to make further attempts to call? But instead you wrote your email letter on 24th August at 1.59pm stating that you called me and I did not take your call.
In addition you published the letter on the media within 30 minutes of sending the email, and copied past NBA Presidents within 1.5 hours.
May I reiterate that the NBA elections and governance is not a personal issue to me. I have dedicated most of my adult life outside my mainstay to the development of the legal profession and the bar. I did not do those works as the leader of the Association. There is nothing that will prevent me from contributing as much as I can while I exist. It is a passion and calling for me. NBA is not an employment or political thing for me. There is therefore no reason to “appeal” to me “to sheath swords and join hands in reshaping the NBA into an institution that we all can take pride in.” Paul, you owe me no duty or responsibility for what happened at that elections. Mr Arthur Okafor, President AB Mahmoud, Prof Yadudu and ENCBA owe me no duty or responsibility. You all owe that duty and responsibility to the entire bar, the legal profession, Nigeria and God. I moved on an hour after and I publicly stated that I will not contest the outcome of that charade and I am sure you read it.
I have said it before and I repeated it at the SLP Port Harcourt this year that the problem with the Bar and the legal profession in Nigeria is not laws, rules, constitution, systems and so. Our problems are our lawyers and our governance problems are mostly senior lawyers. The day our leaders decide to be honest with us, that would be the day of transformation for the bar and the profession. “One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised” (Chinua Achebe). True integrity knows no form of derogation. Only honesty and the truth will save the BAR!
Ernest Ojukwu (TEACHER)
It would be recalled that Mr. Paul Usoro had written to Prof. Ojukwu and Chief Arthur Obi-Okafor shortly after he was declared winner to join him in moving the bar forward. While Ojukwu has now insisted that the letter was in bad faith, for Chief Obi-Okafor, his decision to collaborate would be made after a forensic audit of the Election processes