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Monday, September 20, 2021

Caretaker Committee, Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja Branch, Issues Press Release on Mr. Monday Ubani’s Alleged Resignation

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The caretaker committee, Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja Branch has issued out a press release on the alleged resignation of Mr. Monday Ubani from the committee

The press release which was made available to Law Reporters correspondent early Tuesday morning, the caretaker committee said they have not receive any notice from Mr. Monday concerning the news of his resignation which has been all over the internet.

Find below the full press released statement of the NBA –

“The attention of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja Branch Caretaker Committee has been drawn to on-line news reports of the alleged resignation of Mr. Monday Ubani from the Committee as well as his later release where he gave “further reasons” for his alleged resignation.

So far the Committee has not received any notice of Mr. Ubani’s letter of resignation either from him or the National Executive Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association.

We are constrained to put out this release strictly for the purpose of setting the records straight as the Committee is not ready to join issues with him.

According to Mr. Ubani, his disagreement with the other members of the Committee leading to his alleged resignation is solely on the issue of the Application of Article 6 (3) of the NBA Uniform Bye Laws 2015, which he wanted to apply retroactively against Mr. Seyi Olawunmi, while other members of the Committee desired otherwise.

In presenting his case to the public, Mr. Ubani has indulged himself in making derogatory remarks about the Committee whilst painting himself in good lights.

But what are the true facts?

When the issue of the controversial Article 6 (3) of the Bye Law first came up, the committee deliberation could not be concluded and so postponed.

Immediately after the postponement, without the knowledge and authorization of the other members of the Committee, Mr. Ubani who is neither the Chairman nor the Secretary surreptitiously wrote to the NBA leadership, then under President Paul Usoro SAN for interpretation of the Section.

At the later meetings of the Committee, Mr. Ubani relied on the Response from the National Body which favoured Retroactive application of Article 6 (3) to defend his position that Seyi Olawunmi Esq. be disqualified from the Chairmanship contest, but an overwhelming majority of the Committee members were for the inclusion of Seyi Olawunmi in the election on the basis that from all decided Supreme Court authorities Article 6 (3) as couched cannot be applied retroactively.

Consequently, Seyi Olawunmi was cleared by the Committee to run in the election and his name and names of other cleared candidates were published by the Committee.

Grossly dissatisfied with the decision of the Committee, Mr. Ubani, who appeared to have a strong, personal interest in the matter mounted pressure on the Committee Chairman to write a fresh letter to the national body informing the National Body that he Monday Ubani is against the decision of the Committee and that if the Chairman failed to write the letter he would resign his membership of the Committee as was usual of him anytime he is dissatisfied with majority decision of the Committee not withstanding that he was made to know that membership of a Committee of this nature or any tribunal is always set up in an odd number, as it is known that members are not likely to agree unanimously on some issues thus majority decision is always taken as the Committee’s decision.

The chairman who didn’t want the Committee to be seen as divided wrote the letter as desired by Mr. Ubani and when the reply came to the effect that Article 6 (3) is to be applied retroactively, the Committee has to change its earlier position qualifying Seyi Olawumi for the election.

Accordingly a letter was prepared to that effect, signed by the Chairman, the Secretary and Mr. Ubani, the three original members of the Committee to be delivered to Mr. Seyi Olawumi.

After the execution of the letter the Secretary Adebamigbe Omole Esq. notified the Chairman in writing of the withdrawal of his assent to the letter on the ground that he was never a believer in retroactive application of the laws, and the mere fact of being the Secretary of the Committee should not compel his signing such a letter contrary to his core belief. Consequently the letter disqualifying Mr. Seyi Olawumi was signed by the Chairman alone.

The Committee’s decision was that since Mr. Seyi Olawumi has a window of Seven (7) days to appeal his disqualification the names of qualified candidates will be published after the Seven (7) days. However, Mr. Ubani called the Bar Centre Secretary to publish the names of qualified candidates even when Mr. Seyi Olawumi has not been served. The Secretary sought clearance from the Chairman who informed her to hold on.

Mr. Ubani thereafter for reasons best known to him gave Mr. Seyi Olawumi’s letter of disqualification to an unknown person to publish same in the social media to embarrass the Committee

Ubani’s contention that he resigned from the Committee because he suspected foul play as the Committee allegedly delayed in publishing a fresh list of qualified candidates, while also learning that Mr. Seyi Olawumi was planning to go to court is laughable and even pathetic. The Committee wonder at his peculiar anxiety in this matter, when he was supposed to be an impartial arbiter.

On a final note, the Committee while calling for the support of all restates its full commitment to holding a free, fair and credible elections.

This statement was signed by the caretaker committee, NBA Ikeja Branch.

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