Lawyer petitions NBA president over disqualification from branch election

Ogunsakin Mustapha
4 Min Read

Mr Victor Giwa, the Abuja lawyer who was disqualified from participating in the race for the Chairmanship of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Garki Branch 2024 Election, has petitioned the NBA President, Yakubu Chinoko Maikyau, (SAN) asking for his intervention and reinstatement into the race.

The Electoral Appeal Committee of NBA headed by Abdul Atadoga Ibrahim SAN had disqualified Giwa who has various petitions the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) and a pending criminal arraignment against him on the basis that such obstacles will hinder his performance should he be elected as chairman of the branch.

Giwa’s disqualification stems from documented allegations of misconduct including deploying thugs to carry out an illegal eviction in Abuja. There’s also pending arraignment against him scheduled for July 3, 2024, on an eight-count charge filed by the Hon. Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice involving illegal eviction and other criminal infractions. Additionally, Giwa has cases pending before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC).

The committee stated: “With the avalanche of documents attached to the petition written to the Electoral Committee and failure on the part of Victor Giwa to bring any documents to contradict the position (except a bare denial) we the Electoral Appeal Committee are of the firm view that there are a lot of unresolved issues surrounding his candidacy and aspiration to lead the Bar;

While not adjudging the Respondent guilty of any issue, it is in the interest of the Bar, which he seeks to lead, for him to resolve the controversies and pending suits and disciplinary issues involving him first. It impugns on the integrity of the Bar for its leader to be going before courts and Committees, standing in the dock and struggling to save his neck in criminal litigation as this will definitely affect his concentration on running a responsible Bar. The Committee hereby direct the removal of the name of Victor Giwa from the list of candidates on the ground that he has unresolved issues before the Legal Practitioners”.

However in his petition to the NBA president, Giwa faulted the decision of the appeal committee, saying that “the jurisdiction of the Committee has not been invoked, as an Appeal committee, its jurisdiction can only be invoked by an aggrieved member (s) from a branch; after the branch’s Election committee has taken a decision with regard to the qualification or otherwise of the candidate”.

He also stated: “I was not given the fair hearing of getting my response or knowing the decision of the committee on the petition against me before it was sent to members of the Public and principally to my opponents”.
He therefore urged the president to review the decisions, or disband the committee with regards to all petitions and allow all candidates to contest the elections.
The Nigerian Bar has faced several allegations of misconduct in recent years, highlighting the importance of selecting candidates who embody the highest ethical standards to avoid further tarnishing the reputation of the legal profession in Nigeria.

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