The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Warri Branch has debunked claims by the Chairman of the Udu Branch that he has been “unanimously” elected by the chairmen of the nine branches of the NBA in Delta State.
In a statement dated 22nd Feb, signed by the branch Chief Oghenero Okoro and the secretary, S. G. EDIAGBONUVIE, Esq, the branch described the claim as incorrect.
The branch also refutes the claim that by virtue of result of the said purported election, he is now the official spokesperson of the Bar in Delta State.
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“The NBA Warri Branch hereby states emphatically that the said claim of the NBA Udu Chairman is not correct and it is designed to deceive members of the public.”
In setting the record straight, the branch noted that the NBA Warri Branch did not participate in any election at which the Chairman of the NBA Udu Branch or any other person was elected as the Chairman of the nine Branches in Delta State or as the official spokesperson of the Bar in Delta State. Thus, the claim of the Udu Branch Chairman that he was “unanimously” elected by all the chairmen of all the Branches in the state is not correct.
“That for many years, the NBA Branches in Delta State through their Chairmen met irregularly to discuss issues pertaining to the administration of justice in Delta State. In line with the tradition of seniority at the Bar, the Chairman of the NBA Warri Branch always presided over such meetings by virtue of Warri Branch being the oldest Branch in the State and from which many of the other Branches were created. Recently, the Chairmen of some of the Branches started clamoring for elections into offices in what they called an association of NBA Branches in Delta State. Warri Branch did not agree with this position and its Chairman left the meeting where this issue was being discussed when it became clear that some Branch Chairmen were hell bent on conducting elections. The NBA Warri Branch has also notified the other Branches in Delta State, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Delta State and the Chief Judge of Delta State that it is not a part of any Association of NBA Branches in Delta State and will not be bound by their decisions or resolutions.
“That to the best of our knowledge, the Nigerian Bar Association NBA, of which NBA Warri Branch is one of the twelve founding Branches, does not practice or operate a state Bar or state Branch system. Thus, no Branch Chairman can be the “official spokesperson of the Bar” in any state. Each Branch of the NBA speaks for itself on issues affecting her or her members. As a result, there is no position of the “official spokesperson of the Bar” in any State as claimed the Udu Branch Chairman. The position of the “official spokesperson of the Bar” is unknown to the Constitution of the NBA and we hereby call on the public to disregard same. Even if anyone is elected as the chairman of the committee of chairmen in any state, the only privilege such election confers is to preside at a meeting of the committee whenever the committee have a need to meet. It does not translate the chairman so elected by his brother chairmen to the “official spokesperson of the Bar” in that State.
“We hereby state categorically that the Committee of NBA Chairmen is not a super structure which is superior to the NBA Branches. NBA Branches are the only recognized unit of the NBA by the NBA Constitution.
“That we make the above clarification for record purpose and call on the general public to discountenance the purported claim of the Udu Branch Chairman of being the “official spokesperson of the Bar” in Delta State. To the best of our knowledge, no other person in any other state of the federation has ever laid claim to such a position.”