Dear Learned friend, Mr. SOK Shillings, Sir, thank you for your well written comment titled, “SUSPENSION OF BAYO AKINLADE ESQ. MATTERS ARISING .” I agree with you that the entire Bayo Akinlade issue generally raises some questions. But, please, would you not agree with me that in your comment, you have failed to point out most of the relevant questions raised or issues for determination? Besides, I think your comment as posted/published has in itself thrown out more damaging questions than useful answers. Kindly permit me to make an attempt at raising some of the actual relevant questions and issues, so that you may help me with some UNBIASED clarifications that would help clear all reasonable doubts and enable discerning Nigerian see the big picture:
1. You completely evaded any discussions on the place or implications of the directive by the NBA National Leadership, through its General Secretary (GS), that the planned “election” into the office of the Ikorodu Branch VC be temporarily halted pending investigations into and resolution of the petition written to NBA National by OGBAIDE (Ikorodu Branch Vice Chairman (VC))? Why have you failed to discuss that directive vis-à-vis the decision of the Ikorodu NBA Branch Leadership to IGNORE the directive and proceed to conduct the “election?”
2. Or, by ignoring that aspect, are you saying the directive has no meaning and was rightly disregarded by Ikorodu nba Branch? You think the directive was a non-issue?
3. When you’re the NBA Chairman for Ikorodu Branch, would you have handled this matter the same way? Disregarding a lawful directive from the nba national leadership and conducting your branch affairs as if you’re a law unto yourself? Please, tell me!
4. In your comment, you have concluded thus, about Mr Ogbaide: *”he has a bad reputation and that was the original sin. He once suggested that I changed my surname because when people turn 50 in my family, they run mad. …Just last week, he referred to the members as mumu and morons. He stole our money as Chairman of a committee and never won a contested election.”*
MY QUESTION: Does this comment of yours not explain why you have taken the position you’re taking now on the Ikorodu imbroglio? Please, Sir, when Mr Ogbaide “stole” Ikorodu Branch monies, as you declared in your comment under consideration, was any Panel or Committee set up by the Ikorodu Branch to investigate the issue or to discipline him? Was he reported to the NBA National? Was he taken before the LPDC? What disciplinary steps did your branch take against Mr Ogbaide? Or is Mr Ogbaide above the law? If you did none of these, are you not estopped from using these grounds to persecute your VC? Does this comment of yours not show your clear bias already? So, would anyone be surprised at the position you’re taking, after reading that your judgement on Mr Ogbaide as a person?
5. In your comment, you referred to a certain scenario leading to “suspension “ of one Gloria Cassius. But you failed to tell us what protest-actions the disqualified person (Cassius) took after she was so disqualified! Why, my learned friend? Or, did you not know that if one is disqualified and the person keeps mute, it is taken that he or she has accepted his/her fate? And it means that since there were only TWO contestants for that VC position, the other would sure go UNOPPOSED? Please, Sir, is this not the rule, universally accepted? Answer me, please!
6. In your comment, I didn’t see where you told us why Mr Ogbaide in your view was not validly occupying the VC position of Ikorodu NBA Branch! You didn’t, my dear learned friend! Or, are you saying that because he had run unopposed, he was therefore not entitled to lay any claim to the office of the IKORODU BRANCH VC? Or, tell us, was it Mr Ogbaide that had “disqualified” Gloria Cassius? Or, please tell me, who was the Ikorodu NBA Branch VC since 2018? Was the office vacant until March 2019 when the Ikorodu NBA Branch purportedly Conducted a “election” to fill it?
7. Do you not agree that Mr Ogbaide, having run unopposed and thereby became the VC of Ikorodu nba Branch, he could only be removed through due process of law? Now, If you tell me you had lawfully removed Mr Ogbaide, then I ask , when and how?
8. If Mr Ogbaide had not been lawfully removed from office as the Branch VC as at the time your branch purported to decide to conduct an election to FILL the obviously NOT-VACANT VC position, what’s the legal status of the purported election? You know better than I do! The supreme court decision in *Peter Obi v. INEC* is clear: *an election conducted to fill an office that is not yet vacant is a nullity, void ab initio, amounts to a waste of time.* Is that not so, dear Mr Shillings? Or, was the office of the VC, IKORODU NBA vacant as at the time the suspended Chairman purportedly caused an election to be conducted with a view to electing a new VC? Did you not see that Mr Ogbaide was not validly removed, and as such remains the substantive VC of IKORODU NBA, and no Acting Chairman?
9. Dear Mr Shillings, please, if you were the President or GS of the NBA National and you received a petition from Mr Ogbaide in that manner, an SOS for that matter, would you have kept quiet, dismissed the petition with a wave of hand and allowed the proposed “election” in Ikorodu to proceed in spite of the petition from the office of the Ikorodu Branch VC? Please, tell us, Sir, exactly how would you have handled the matter as the President of the NBA National?
10. Dear Mr Shillings, let’s look at the other side! What harm would it have caused Mr the Ikorodu NBA Branch if the Branch had tarried a while in deference to the directive by NBA National to halt the proposed election? What harm? What loss would the branch have suffered? What prejudice? Tell me! Was the proper thing not for the Branch to have allowed the NBA to at least thrash out that petition before proceeding with the “election?” Of course, the Petititon would be resolved and the election would still hold, only if overzealousness and ITK (I-too-know) had not taken the place of reason and wisdom in the minds of the handlers, and advisers of the Ikorodu nba Branch as at the material time! Or, did it not occur to you that the mere fact that Ikorodu NBA Chairman OPENLY IGNORED a lawful directive of NBA National SPEAKS volumes about the actual intentions of the Ikorodu Branch in having chosen to Conduct the “election?”
11. You repeatedly referred to instances where past NBA Presidents or national officers had, WHILE STILL IN OFFICE, openly disagreed with NBA and even called NBA’s bluff! I don’t know how true your claim is. Those were are your words! But, both Mr. ODOGIYAN and Mr Lawal-RABANA were both National officers (presidents)of the NBA! They were not BRANCH CHAIRMEN. I am however not saying that presidents are above the law! That’s not the issue here. Please, Sir, you failed to cite any one instance, just one, in which a clear DIRECTIVE of NBA National Leadership was openly DISREGARDED by a Branch Chairman! You’ve not? Why, Sir? And if I may further ask, did it not occur to you that the mere fact that you cited none shows that NO SUCH INSTANCE EXISTS? Yet, on no fewer than two occasions, the now suspended IKORODU NBA Chairman had OPENLY and without justification disregarded clear directives of NBA National. First, it was a resolution duly passed by the NBA NEC (National Executive Committee) directing a two-day court boycott. Mr Akinlade as the Chairman on Ikorodu NBA Branch had issue a statement urging Ikorodu Branch members to DISREGARD the NEC resolution and directive contained therein. Second was the directive on the proposed Ikorodu VC election! Mr Shillings, and you still see nothing wrong? Why?
12. Dear Mr Shillings, Sir, you were once the Ikorodu NBA Chairman. Kindly cite how many times you openly DISOBEYED or disregarded directives of NBA National or of the NEC! If you cite none, it means none existed. Then, why do you support clear acts of insubordination on the part of the current leadership of Ikorodu nba Branch? Or, must we support what is not right? Why not see the bigger picture? Or, are you saying that those actions of the Ikorodu Branch Chairman were okay under the circumstances?
13. Dear Mr Shillings, in your comment, you did not cite any example or show of any bias or partiality by the NBA National Leadership in this Ikorodu NBA VC imbroglio! There’s no where in your comment that you alleged that the NBA National Leadership was in support of Mr Ogbaide! And you know there’s no indication of any such! The letter conveying the directive of the NBA National was clear and unbiased in all respects. Then, why the rush to Conduct the VC “election” in spite of NBA National’s directive? Why?
14. As between the email or WhatsApp message of “approval” allegedly given by the NBA 2nd VeePee, according to you, and the LATER Directive issued by the NBA National through its General Secretary in an official letter, which one do you think ought to have prevailed? Which was later in time? Even if you tell me that both of them had come from National officers of the nba and therefore represented the position of NBA National Leadership, then i will ask you, which was LATER IN TIME? And which ought to have prevailed? If the same person gave you two conflicting directives at two different times, should you not prefer the later directive? If for instance my mother tells me at 8.00am that I should go to the market to buy rice and my mother later on the same day at about 12.30pm tells me to wait for HER further directives before going to the market to buy rice, would it be wise for me to still proceed with my mother’s 8.00am instructions? Tell me, Mr Shillings. Let’s be fair and consider the reasonable sides of this issue. If the Ikorodu Branch didn’t not know that the later directive should ordinarily prevail over earlier “approval,” the Branch (Secretary), at worst, should have written/contacted the 2nd VeePee for further directives on getting/seeing the official letter from NBA National through its GS, which was clearly in direct conflict with the email/whatsapp of “approval” allegedly previously given by the 2nd VeePee. Does the fact that the Branch did not do any of these not speak volumes?
15. Is the NBA not one organisation. Is the NBA National leadership like the President of the federal republic of Nigeria who altogether has no control over state governors, only because we as a country operate a FEDERATION. On the other hand, do we not know that in the case of NBA, it is not a federal arrangement that enables a branch chairman to conduct branch affairs as if he is a law unto himself. I think each and every NBA branch is under the supervision of the national leadership, and must therefore refrain from acting as a sheep without a shepherd. Each branch is supposed to respect and submit to the authority of the national leadership, to the extent that NBA’S constitution prescribes. Is that not what it should be, dear Mr SOK Shillings? Please, tell me. Let’s have a discussion on this. I am ready to discuss with you to thrash out all relevant issues.
Meanwhile, thank you, Mr Shillings, Sir, as you graciously oblige me with clarifications on my humble inquiries which I honestly believe would help us place the relevant issues in proper perspectives with a view to finding a common ground that would leave no one in doubts.
Thank you, immensely, Sir.