REQUEST FOR PAYMENT FOR OUTSTANDING EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE ECNBA DURING THE CONDUCT OF 2022 ELECTIONS OF NATIONAL OFFICERS AND THE GENERAL COUNCIL OF THE BAR – SETTING THE RECORDS STRAIGHT

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By Section 10(1); Part I (1) and Part II (3) of the Second Schedule of the Constitution of the Nigerian Bar Association 2021 (as amended) (The Constitution), the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) is an independent body responsible for the conduct of free, fair and credible elections of National Officers of the NBA and the election of NBA Representatives to the General Council of the Bar.

At an Emergency Meeting held on 17 March 2022, the National Executive Committee (NEC) approved ECNBA’s “interim budget” of N28,653,300.00 (Twenty-eight million, six hundred and fifty-three thousand, three hundred Naira) and $15,000.00 (Fifteen Thousand USD) to conduct the 2022 NBA election of National Officers and members of the general council of the Bar.

The ECNBA could not have accurately determined the actual cost for conducting the entire elections at the material time, hence the submission/reliance on an “interim budget”.

In estimating the cost for procuring the services of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) service provider, the ECNBA was guided by the cost incurred during the previous election (2020). More importantly, because of the inflation and fluctuation in the Naira to the USD, it was prudent to request the cost of ICT in dollars based on precedent.

Consequently, an estimated sum of $15,000.00 USD was included for the services of the ICT provider in the interim budget approved by NEC.

To maintain its independence, for a free and fair election, the Chairman and the members of the ECNBA funded the various activities pertaining to the 2022 Elections before the NBA disbursed the Naira component of the approved interim budget in the sum of N28,653,300.00 (Twenty-eight million, six hundred and fifty-three thousand, three hundred Naira) on Thursday, 19 May 2022.

The NBA Constitution prescribed procedures that were sacrosanct for purposes of engaging/appointing the ECNBA’s Service providers. To this end, Part III (1), (2) and (3) of the Second Schedule of the NBA Constitution expressly states as follows:

“The ECNBA shall be solely responsible for the selection, appointment, and engagement of all the service providers required in the electoral process.
The ECNBA shall engage a Technical Support Consultant who shall provide technical assistance to the ECNBA throughout the electoral process and postelection activities. Page 4 of 9
The ECNBA shall, with the assistance of the Technical Support Consultant, engage a competent Information Communication Technology (ICT) service
provider, who shall:
(a) Review and validate the voters’ register generated from the Association’s database.
(b) Provide and configure the voting portal for use, send notifications to voters via electronic media including emails, SMS and any other electronic medium as may become applicable; provide online real -time dashboard and leaderboard for monitoring the election; as well as provide a support help desk during the
election.

Pursuant to the above provisions, the ECNBA requested for proposals from potential Technical Support Consultant (TSC) providers on Monday 11, April, 2022.

In compliance with the due process stipulated in the NBA Constitution, that is, notifying members of the Association of all the proposals submitted, the ECNBA called for any reservations, objections and without any objection, the ECNBA engaged the service of Finesse Integrated Limited (TSC). Please see the detailed report at para. 3, pg. 18 -19 of the ECNBA Report on The 2022 Elections of National Officers of The Nigerian Bar Association And NBA Representatives To The General Council of The Bar held on the 16 July 2022, dated 25th August 2022. (Annexure C)

The TSC’s service was procured at the sum of N9,500,000.00 (Nine million, five hundred thousand Naira). Please find attached invoice dated 3 June 2022 (Annexure D). The sum of N5,106,250.00 representing 50% inclusive of VAT was paid to the TSC on the 8 June 2022 as shown by the ECNBA’s Cheque dated 8 June and cheque deposit slip dated 9 June 2022. (Annexure E(i) and E(ii)).

Thereafter, with the help of TSC, the ECNBA requested for proposals from potential ICT providers, shortlisted and published names of all Respondents, conducted the requisite due diligence, held several technical virtual meetings with all the Respondents and subsequently identified INITS Limited as the most suitable provider. (Annexure C @ para 3.4, pg.19-21)

INITS Limited submitted a robust proposal dated 30 May 2022 (Annexure F) for providing Election Management (e-Voting) System (EMS) services to the ECNBA. INITS demonstrated competence during the engagement process and an extensive virtual technical session was held with INITS on Tuesday, 14 June 2022 at 6:30 pm. Please refer to the ECNBA’s email of same day wherein the login detail was provided (Annexure G @
pg. 6).

After the virtual technical session between the ECNBA, TSC and INITS a further technical session was held on Tuesday 21 June 2022 at 5:00pm. Prior to this meeting, the TSC requested for access to INITS e-voting system as part of the due diligence exercise. Please see TSC’s email of 21 June 2022 at 12: 07 (Annexure G @ pg.8) with members of the ECNBA in copy to INITS.

Download Full ECNBA’s Letter Here

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