NBA-SPIDEL Gets New Chairman

John-Aikpokpo-Martins
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Mr. John Aikpokpo-Martins, the immediate past 1st Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), has been elected Chairman of the NBA Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA-SPIDEL).

He was elected alongside the following persons:

Princess Frank-Chukwuani – Vice-Chair
Funmi Adeogun – Secretary
Chinedu Obienu – Treasurer
Abdullahi Karaye – Financial Secretary
Charity Ibezim – Assistant Secretary
Below is the full report of the NBA-SPIDEL Electoral Committee 2023 on the election as issued by the Chairman of the Electoral Committee.

INTRODUCTION
I am delighted to present this report on behalf of the 2023 Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA-SPIDEL). On behalf of the members of the Committee, I thank NBA-SPIDEL Committee Chairman, Dr. Monday Ubani and the entire members of the NBA-SPIDEL Committee for finding us worthy to deliver this very important task.

THE PROCESS
The Committee was appointed on Friday, June 16, 2023 and saddled with the arduous task of being the Election Management Body for the election of Officers and Members of the Executive Committee. Members of the Committee included Emeka Nwadioke, Esq. (Chairman), Kola Omotinugbon, Esq. (Secretary), Abdullahi Karaye, Esq., Francis Ogunbowale, Esq. and Charity Ibezim, Esq.
It is noteworthy that two members of the Electoral Committee, namely Abdullahi Karaye, Esq. and Charity Ibezim, Esq. indicated interest to serve the Section as Officers and duly recused themselves from the Electoral Committee.

The Committee immediately swung into action by putting out requisite notices calling for Expressions of Interest and Nominations. The notices were published on NBA-SPIDEL digital platform and also delivered to members via email.

I am glad to report that several members expressed interest to serve the Section by filling out the requisite forms and paying the applicable fees.

SCREENING EXERCISE
It is noteworthy that at the end of the screening exercise, the candidates emerged successful, having been deemed as fit and proper persons to fill the vacancies.
Article XIV (a) of “THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION UNIFORM BYE-LAWS FOR SECTIONS” AS CONTAINED IN PART II OF THE THIRD SCHEDULE TO THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION CONSTITUTION 2021 provides that “If, in respect of any of the Officers of the Section: (i) there be no more than one person duly nominated for election to an office, that person nominated shall be deemed to have been duly elected to that office.”

Also, Article XIV (b)(i) of the “THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION UNIFORM BYE-LAWS FOR SECTIONS” AS CONTAINED IN PART II OF THE THIRD SCHEDULE TO THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION CONSTITUTION 2021 provides that “If, in respect of elected members of the Executive Committee of the Section: the number of persons nominated for election into the Executive Committee of the Section does not exceed the number of vacancies in the Executive Committee of the Section as stipulated in this Bye-Law, those persons shall, on declaration of their names by the Electoral Committee of the Section, be deemed to have been duly elected members of the Executive Committee of the Section.”

Accordingly, and by the combined effect of Article XIV (a)(i) and Article XIV (b)(i) of the “THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION UNIFORM BYE-LAWS FOR SECTIONS” AS CONTAINED IN PART II OF THE THIRD SCHEDULE TO THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION CONSTITUTION 2021, the following persons are hereby deemed as duly elected jointly and severally as Officers and Members of Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest and Development Law:

John Aikpokpo-Martins – Chairman
Princess Frank-Chukwuani – Vice-Chair
Funmi Adeogun – Secretary
Chinedu Obienu – Treasurer
Abdullahi Karaye – Financial Secretary
Charity Ibezim – Assistant Secretary
Members of the Executive Committee
(a) Dr. Monday Ubani
(b) Prof. Paul Ananaba SAN
(c) Kunle Adegoke, SAN
(d) Uju Agomoh, Esq.
(e) Kunle Edun, Esq.
(f) Okey Ohagba, Esq.
(g) Yakubu Bawa, Esq.
(h) Dorncklaimz Enamhe, Esq.
(i) Igbeaku Evulukwu
(j) Chinelo Ofoegbunam, Esq.
(k) Sam Ajayi Jaiye, Esq.
(l) Chisom Onuoha, Esq.

I urge the incoming administration to take the earliest opportunity to appoint Zonal Representatives for the Section as provided for in Article VIII of the “THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION UNIFORM BYE-LAWS FOR SECTIONS,” and in order to assist the regime in delivering on its all-important mandate of safeguarding the public interest.

RECOMMENDATIONS
The electioneering process has been arduous due to the very short time within which the Committee had to deliver on the task. It is recommended that the Electoral Committee is set up in good time to ensure that the Committee has adequate time to deliver on its mandate.
For the Section to deepen its democratic process, it is also strongly recommended that the Section embraces electronic voting or at the very least, voting via email. This will enable all NBA-SPIDEL financial members (and not only those who attend the Annual Conference or the Biennial General Meeting in-person) to be a part of the voting process.

CONCLUSION
We again thank the NBA-SPIDEL leadership for finding us worthy to deliver this crucial task. We are glad that the process has thrown up a stellar cast of leading lawyers who are deeply committed to the public interest.
I especially thank members of the Electoral Committee who made uncommon sacrifices to ensure the success of the elections.

Given the unprecedented rebirth of NBA-SPIDEL following the foresighted appointment of renowned Prof. Paul Ananaba SAN as Council Chairman and the fact that Dr. Monday Ubani and his entire team have taken the Section a notch higher, I am confident that the incoming leadership under the fiery former 1st Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. John Aikpokpo-Martins will leave indelible footprints in the sands of time through teamwork, effective deployment of committees and consistent pursuit of public interest.

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