As the forthcoming national election of the National Association of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) inches closer, allegations and counter appeared to have taken the centre-stage in the campaign strategies of camps garnering supports for the candidates eyeing the presidency of the association.
This is because former National Legal Adviser of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr Nwaogu Victor, has accused the out-going President of the association, Mr. Augustine Alegeh, SAN, of interference in the forthcoming national election of the association.
Nwaogu is contending that Alegeh, from all indications, has a preferred candidate in Mr A. B Mahmoud (SAN) for the position of the president of the association contrary to his earlier denial of same.
The other candidate for the same position in the elections is Chief Joe Kyari Gadzama, SAN.
Another member of the association, based in Enugu, Mr Daniel Ogbonna, also alleged that Mr Alegeh had openly boasted at the inauguration ceremony of the newly created NBA Onueke branch, Ebonyi State on July 6, 2016, that he had a candidate for the office of NBA president in the forthcoming elections of the body.
Ogbonna in a deposition before the Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State said: “On the said date, precisely at 1p.m., at Onueke headquarters of Ezza South Local Government Area, while the inauguration ceremony was on going, the national president of NBA, Mr Alegeh, SAN, when making his inaugural speech, boasted that he has a presidential candidate for the forthcoming national NBA elections.”
On his part, Nwaogu in his deposition before an Abia State High Court sitting in Aba, averred “I am from Umuezegwu in Ihitte/Uboma L.G.A of Imo State. Ihitte/Uboma L.G.A in one of the four local government areas that made up Mbano/Etiti branch of NBA.
The said Mbano/Etiti branch of NBA was inaugurated on July 6, 2016 by the president of NBA, Alegeh, SAN.
“I was one of the members of NBA that attended the said inauguration. Before the president of NBA, Alegeh, SAN, inaugurated the said branch, he made an opening address where he addressed about 65 members of NBA in attendance including my humble self to the effect that we should all vote for A.B. Mahmod as the next president of NBA to take over from him.
“He told us that his reason for urging us to vote for A.B. Mahmoud was because, J.K. Gadzama, SAN, had told lawyers that he was coming to destroy all that he (Alegeh) had built including amending the constitution.
He told us not to vote for a person who could not account to NBA when he organised a conference and claimed that he was attacked by armed robbers who took all the receipts.
“He mentioned my name, Victor Nwaugo three times in the course of his address and also asked me whether robbers also steal receipts.
“In the course of his address, he boasted that any person who cared could video him, tape his speech, but that he would move from branch to branch in the course of his thank you visits to branches, urging them to vote for A.B. Mahmoud.
“I have followed past presidents of NBA closely, none ever canvassed votes for his successor in the open.”
Also, former Assistant National Publicity Secretary of the association, Mr. John Unachukwu and sole candidate, National Publicity Secretary position in forthcoming election in the suit, he filed before an Abuja High Court, challenging his disqualification, also accused Alegeh of campaigning for Mahmoud.