The Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) has warned aspirants to the NBA National offices that no form of electoral campaigns would be allowed before the formal lifting of ban on campaign for the elections. In addition, the campaigns must be restricted only to the NBA website.
The above was contained in a press release titled GUIDELINES FOR THE 2020 NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION NATIONAL OFFICERS ELECTIONS by the ECNBA.
The Guideline covers
- National Offices to Be Contested For
- Zoning of Offices
- Election Dates
- Qualifications to Hold a National Office
- Disqualification from Election/Holding Any National Office
- Nomination of Candidates for National Offices
- Qualification of Members to Vote
- Campaign Rules and Regulations
- Regulations for Electronic Voting
- Announcement of Results of the Elections
2.0 NATIONAL OFFICES TO BE CONTESTED FOR
2.1 Pursuant to Section 8(2) of the Constitution of the Nigerian Bar Association 2015 (as amended) and the Preliminary Notice of Elections of the 15th day of April, 2020 issued by the ECNBA the following National Offices of the Association are to be contested for:-
- 1st Vice-President
- 2nd Vice-President
- 3rd Vice-President
- General Secretary
- Assistant Secretary
- Welfare Secretary
- Financial Secretary
- Publicity Secretary
- Assistant Publicity Secretary
3.0 ZONING OF OFFICES
3.1 The zoning arrangement of National Offices as provided for in Section 9(3) of the Constitution and Paragraph 1.2(a) (b) (c) and (e) (i)-(iii) of the Second Schedule to the Constitution of the Nigerian Bar Association 2015 (as amended), and set out in the Preliminary Notice of Elections are as follows:-
|2||1st Vice President||West|
|3||2nd Vice President||North|
|4||3rd Vice President||East|
|6||Assistant Secretary||Not Zoned|
|8||Welfare Secretary||Not Zoned|
|9||Financial Secretary||Not Zoned|
|10.||Publicity Secretary||Not Zoned|
3.2 The list of States that make up the respective Zones as set out in paragraphs 1.2(e)(i), (ii) and (iii) of the Second Schedule to the Constitution of the Nigerian Bar Association 2015 (as amended) are as hereunder:
- Northern Zone – Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara and FCT- Abuja.
- Eastern Zone – Abia, AkwaIbom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo and Rivers.
- Western Zone – Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo.
4.0 ELECTION DATES.
4.1 The 2020 NBA National Officers’ elections shall hold between 00:00 hours of Friday 24th to 23:59hours of Saturday 25th July, 2020.
5.0 QUALIFICATIONS TO HOLD A NATIONAL OFFICE
5.1 By virtue of Section 8(3) of the Constitution of the NBA 2015 (as amended), a member of the Association shall be qualified to hold a National Office if:
i). He/She is a full member of the Association and has paid, as at the date of his/her nomination, his/her Bar Practising fees and Branch Dues and levies for three (3) consecutive years (inclusive of the election year). Each of the payments must have been made as and when due; i.e. on or before 31st March of each year.
ii). The member is in private legal practice and has at any time prior to his/her nomination been either a member of the National Executive Committee or Branch Executive Committee as may be applicable to the post being contested in line with Section 8(3)(c)(i)-(iii) of the Constitution.
iii) Such member must also satisfy the post-enrolment requirement as stipulated in Section 8(3) (d)(i)-(iv) as may be applicable to the office.
a) Candidates for the offices of President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President and 3rd Vice President shall not be less than fifteen (15) years post-call to Bar.
b) Candidates for the positions of General Secretary, Treasurer, Publicity Secretary, Financial Secretary and Welfare Secretary shall not be less than ten (10) years post-call to Bar.
c) For the offices of Assistant Secretary and Assistant Publicity Secretary, the candidates shall not be less than eight (8) years and five (5) years post-call respectively.
iv). A Candidate for a national office of the Association, and in particular for the office of President and General Secretary, must be a person of proven integrity, administrative skills, experience with demonstrated capacity to serve without expecting or having consideration for pecuniary rewards and remuneration as stipulated by Section 8(3)(e) of the Constitution of the Nigerian Bar Association 2015 (as amended).
v) For the offices of Treasurer and Financial Secretary, Section 8(3)(f) of the Constitution of the Nigerian Bar Association 2015 (as amended), stipulates that the Candidate in addition to the law qualifications must possess basic understanding and appreciation of Finance and Accounting.
6.0 DISQUALIFICATION FROM ELECTION/HOLDING ANY NATIONAL OFFICE
6.1 Pursuant to Section 8(4) and Paragraph 1.6 of the Second Schedule of the Constitution of the Nigeria Bar Association 2015 (as amended), a Nominee/Aspirant shall be disqualified from holding any National Office of the Association if any of the following is established against him/her:
- That he/she is sponsored by or has received any financial assistance or inducement from any government, whether, local, State or Federation, or members, organisations or bodies corporate;
- That he/she sponsors or is associated with sponsoring a newspaper or magazine article or any electronic or social media broadcast vilifying other candidates or extolling a candidate’s virtues;
- That he/she has held an elective office as a national officer for two (2) consecutive terms and that such person shall not be eligible to contest for a national office until at least ten (10) years after his/her last term in office;
- That his/her payment of Bar Practice Fees and the Branch dues was not as and when due;
- If any of the two (2) nominators is not qualified as the candidate or has any element that vitiates his/her qualification as a candidate;
- If he/she or any of his/her nominators did not meet the post-call/post-enrolment requirements for the office being sought. In computation of post-call/post-enrolment at the Bar for the qualification and nomination of candidates, the Committee shall take into cognizance the year in which the candidate/member paid his/her first Bar Practice Fees.
- Traveling across the country or to the Branches of the NBA to canvass for votes in whatever form or guise from the date Nominations are declared open for interested aspirants, is prohibited. PROVIDED THAT campaigns can only be done by publication of campaign materials supplied to the ECNBA by the candidates on the designated website.Any candidate who is proven to have engaged in any activities to the contrary, shall be disqualified.
- Engaging in electoral campaigns in any form other than as provided by the constitution from the time of issuance of these guidelines is prohibited and will be considered a conduct unbecoming of a legal practitioner leading to disqualification of the candidate.
- Engagement in any form of inducement of members of the Association.
- If he or she is not a Nigerian citizen.
- If he/she is a member of a Political party
- If he/she is an adjudged bankrupt or has made a composition or arrangement with his/her creditors.
- If he or she is adjudged mentally unfit to take up the position by a competent medical authority.
- He/she has been convicted of a crime or has been indicted by the disciplinary committee for an alleged offence or professional impropriety.
7.0 NOMINATION OF CANDIDATES FOR NATIONAL OFFICES
7.1 Nomination Forms shall be available for collection at the NBA National Secretariat and Online from the NBA website as from 08:00 hours on Monday, the 11th day of May, 2020. Submission of completed nomination forms and accompanying documents shall CLOSE at 16:00 hours on Thursday, the 29th day of May, 2020.
All duly completed nomination forms shall be in sealed envelopes and clearly marked ECNBA 2020 and addressed to:
The Nigerian Bar Association,
C/o Miss Ayodeji Oni
NBA National Secretariat,
Plot 1101, Off Muhammadu Buhari Way
Central Business District Area
7.2 Any disqualified candidate who is aggrieved or dissatisfied with the decision of the Electoral Committee in respect of his nomination may within (7) days of the communication of the decision present an appeal against the decision of the Electoral Committee. The Electoral Committee upon the receipt of an appeal from any candidate shall treat same and give and publish its decision within fourteen (14) days.
8.0 QUALIFICATION OF MEMBERS TO VOTE
8.1 Pursuant to Paragraph 1.2 (f) of the Second Schedule to the Constitution of the Nigerian Bar Association 2015 (as amended), all members of the Association are eligible to vote at the general election for the National Executives, PROVIDED THAT such members must belong to a branch of the Nigerian Bar association and must have paid both their Bar Practice Fees and Branch Dues as and when due for the election year and are duly registered to vote at the elections.
8.2 The election of National Officers of the Association shall be by universal suffrage by virtue of Section 9(4) of the Constitution of the Nigerian Bar Association, 2015 (as amended) consequently, all members who satisfy the conditions of eligibility to vote are entitled to cast their votes in line with guidelines and procedure laid down by the ECNBA.
8.3 Branches of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA shall confirm the names of their members who have paid their annual Branch Dues and Branch levies to the Secretary of the Electoral Committee on or before 2nd May, 2020. The confirmed list shall contain the full names, mobile phone numbers and active email addresses of such Branch members.
8.4 Branches shall also attach the photocopies of the Branch Bank Statement of Account showing evidence of payment of Branch dues and levies for the election year as at the 31st of March 2020 by members whose names are contained in the confirmed list.
8.5 The comprehensive list of members eligible to vote shall be published at least 28 days before the date of the elections.
8.6 Members shall draw the attention of the ECNBA through their Branches to any errors, omissions or corrections on the published interim List of Voters, and supply the correct information within the time stipulated for that purpose.
9.0 CAMPAIGN RULES AND REGULATIONS
9.1 No form of electoral campaigns is allowed before the formal lifting of ban on campaign for the elections. Candidates are advised to observe strictly the provisions of the Constitution of the Nigerian Bar Association 2015 (as amended) with regard to conduct that may lead to disqualification of candidates. Campaign for the election is restricted to electronic campaign on the Nigerian Bar Association website only.
9.2 The Electoral Committee shall ensure strict compliance by the Candidates with the provisions of the Constitution as well as the rules and regulations issued by the Committee under its Constitutional mandate. Candidates are therefore enjoined in their own interest to observe and comply with the following rules and regulations:
- Submit the electronic copy of their Curriculum Vitae, comprehensive manifestoes, other campaign materials to the Electoral Committee for the purposes of being hoisted and published on the NBA Website.
- The publication, printing or distribution of any campaign materials, gifts and any form of souvenir by whatever name called by any candidate or his supporter(s) is strictly prohibited, and any candidate who violates this regulation as provided in the Constitution shall be disqualified from participating in the elections.
- There shall be no offensive or derogatory language or text messages or social media comment that is meant to disparage other candidate(s) by any of the aspirants or their supporters.
- No candidate shall entice, induce or coerce any member of the Association with a view to influence such member’s choice in the election.
10.0 REGULATIONS FOR ELECTRONIC VOTING
10.1 In pursuance of Section 9(4) and Paragraph 1.4(a) & (b) of the Second Schedule to the Constitution, the election shall be conducted electronically. In the circumstance, eligible voters shall cast their votes in the manner stipulated herein and/or in accordance with the guidelines issued or may be issued by the ECNBA for secure, transparent, easy and convenient voting exercise.
11.0 ANNOUNCEMENT OF RESULTS OF THE ELECTIONS
11.1 At the close of the poll by the time assigned for that purpose, the ECNBA shall in the presence of the candidates or their representatives/agents collate the votes and same shall be verified and confirmed before the announcements of results. The results of the elections shall be announced within twenty-four (24) hours of the conduct of the elections.
Dated this 21st day of April 2020