NBA 2022 Elections: ECNBA Clarifies Zoning Of National Offices And Representatives To The General Council Of The Bar
*Says NBA Constitution Only Defines States Within Zone And Not Groups Or Sections
*Insists On Validity Of Earlier Published Notice Of Election And Guidelines For 2022 Elections
In a statement signed by the Chairman of the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA), Ayodele Akintunde SAN and the Secretary, Mabel Ekeke, the ECNBA zoning reaffirmed that the zoning arrangements specified in the Constitution of the NBA are fully reflected in the ECNBAs Preliminary Notice of Election and the Guideline for 2022 Elections earlier published on the 17th of March, 2022.
The statement titled “ZONING PRINCIPLE IN THE CONSTITUTION OF THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION 2015 (AS AMENDED in 2021)” was published on the 30th of March, 2022
Below read the full statement.
ZONING PRINCIPLE IN THE CONSTITUTION OF THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION 2015 (AS AMENDED in 2021)
1.0 ZONING OF NATIONAL OFFICERS & NBA REPRESENTATIVES TO THE GENERAL COUNCIL OF THE BAR
1.1 The ECNBA issues this statement for the record and in compliance with the Code of Conduct governing the activities of the ECNBA under Part II (3), (4), (5) (6) & (7) of the Second Schedule to the Constitution of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) 2015 as amended in 2021 (the Constitution). For the avoidance of doubt, the Code of Conduct aforesaid requires the ECNBA to at all times:
(a) comply with the Constitution of the NBA and the rule of law;
(b) maintain honesty and truthfulness in all its activities;
(c) “ensure that no action or activity is taken in support of any candidate or group of candidates, and…. that every candidate, voter and other participants in the election process are treated fairly and impartially in the conduct of the election”;
(d) perform its duties in a manner that is strictly impartial, non-partisan and politically neutral; and
(e) demonstrate respect for the rule of law and comply with the laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
1.2 The ECNBA’s Preliminary Notice of Election dated 17 March 2022 and Guideline for 2022 Elections of National Officers of the NBA and the NBA Representatives to the General Council of the Bar (General Council) dated 24
March 2022 sets out the zoning arrangement for National Officers and NBA Representatives to the General Council consistent with the provisions of Part IV (1), (2), (3), (4) (5) and Part V (2) of the Constitution.
1.3 Part IV (4) of the Constitution provides that “where a position is zoned to a particular geographical zone, the position shall be rotated and held in turn by the different groups and/or sections in the geographical zone”. However, all that was defined in the Constitution were the States that are comprised in the various zones and not the “different groups and/or sections in the geographical zone”.
1.4 The Constitution specifies some offices subject to rotation on the basis of the principle of zoning. With reference to the election of national officers, these offices are:
(b) 1st Vice-President
(c) 2nd Vice-President
(d) 3rd Vice-President
(e) General Secretary
1.5 With reference to the election of NBA representatives to the General Council, the NBA Constitution specifies that each zone shall elect not less than six (6) Representatives to the General Council.
1.6 For clarity, the States in each of the zones as provided for in the NBA Constitution are reproduced below:
i. Northern Zone: Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara and FCT-Abuja.
ii. Eastern Zone: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, and Rivers State.
iii. Western Zone: Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, and Oyo.
1.7 Consequently, for purposes of zoning in the forthcoming 16 July 2022 elections, the applicable zoning principles are as contained in the Constitution of the NBA, which remain sacrosanct.
1.8 For purposes of determining the eligibility of a candidate to contest for the offices liable to be rotated on the basis of the zoning arrangements specified in the Constitution of the NBA as fully reflected in the ECNBA’s Preliminary Notice of Election and the Guideline for 2022 Elections, regard shall be had to the candidate’s geographical zone of origin with particular reference to a State within the zone under reference.