[JUST IN]: Why Lawyers Are Losing Faith In The ECNBA -By Caleb Adebayo
Yesterday, the Electoral Committee of the NBA ( ECNBA) organised a virtual meeting with the candidates for the forthcoming NBA National Elections as well as other stakeholders. It should be noted that this is the first ever meeting the ECNBA is having with the candidates since the start of the election season.
The meeting, however, achieved very little in terms of allaying the fears and concerns of the candidates and the voting public. To the dismay of many, the ECNBA had neither the details of the voting process nor the final voters’ register ready, and this was less than 3 days to the commencement of the elections.
The ECNBA also failed to acknowledge the porous nature of the NBA portal, as revealed by various IT professionals in the past few weeks. Instead they gave empty assurances that the portal was secure.
Perhaps more embarrassing was the fact that the ECNBA denied that it had ever stated that the NBA portal was the platform where the voting will be carried out, effectively speaking from both sides of the mouth, considering the information made available to voters in this regard few weeks back. After questions from various candidates, Mr. Alozie Echeonwu, who had been invited by the ECNBA Chair, Mr Tawo Tawo, SAN, to throw more light on some aspects of the election said, “The Chairman did not say that the election will be on the NBA website.”
Presidential candidate, Olumide Akpata then raised concerns about the vulnerability of the NBA portal, which the ECNBA had advertised via an infographic as the platform for the voting exercise. In response to his concerns, ECNBA Secretary, Cordelia Eke again asserted “I do not believe the ECNBA at any time said election will be conducted on website.”
This is contrary to information that has been circulating for the past few weeks that the election will be conducted via the NBA portal, supported by an infographic setting out the steps for voting. More than ever, yesterday’s meeting left voters and candidates uncertain and with little faith in the ECNBA and its process.
It is unfortunate that at the time of going to press – which is less than 48 hours to the elections- the ECNBA has not released any information about what platform the voting will be on, the final voters’ register for transparency and how voters are to cast their vote. This then raises the question: Can we really trust the ECNBA to deliver on its mandate? For a committee that could openly deny the fact that it had mooted and publicized conducting the elections via the NBA portal, can we trust them to conduct free and fair elections? Why is there so much hooded activity going on? Why are the curtains drawn on the candidates and electorate? Is this a grand plan to rig the elections? All lawyers must ask these questions, and better still, all lawyers must speak up.
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