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Lawyers Move To Remove Paul Usoro As NBA President

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The Nigerian Bar Association [NBA] has embarked on moves to remove Mr. Paul Usoro [SAN] as its national president.

NBA announced the notice of removal ahead of its National Executive Committee meeting that will hold in NBA National Secretariat in Abuja on Wednesday 5th, Thursday 6th, and Friday 7th December, 2018.

NBA National Executive Committee (NEC) said the move to remove Usoro arose “out of his money laundering charges” proffered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC].

NBA-NEC informed that he is  being investigated for possible prosecution by EFCC over allegations of money laundering activities.

Usoro allegedly connived with State actors to collect monies from Akwa Ibom State Government coffers in the total sum of One Billion, Four Hundred Million Naira in suspicious and fraudulent transactions.

Pursuant to Article 2.3(i&j) of the NBA Constitution 2015, the legal body wrote:

“On Monday 20th August 2018, Mr Paul Usoro SAN was declared President of the Nigerian Bar Association by the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association, ECNBA after a contested against other presidential candidates.

“Controversies trailed the accreditation and e-voting processes, which led the NBA President at the time A B Mahmoud SAN to appoint, with the approval of the National Executive Committee (NEC) NBA and AGC in August, 2018 in NBA House, the firm of KPMG to carry out forensic examinations in order to address allegations of malpractices and irregularities connected to voters identity theft by way of use of fraudulent email addresses hosted on malicious websites such as firemail.cc, airmail.cc, and alleged fraudulent alteration and cloning of phone numbers and interception of passwords.

“NEC-NBA on Sunday 26th August 2018, resolved that the said Mr Paul Usoro’s inauguration with the other National officers would nevertheless take place.

“One of the Presidential candidates, Arthur Obi Okafor SAN approached the FCT High Court Abuja to seek inter alia verification of the election results and the matter has been referred by the presiding Judge to arbitration/mediation to be commenced and concluded within sixty(60) days from Monday 26th Nov., 2018.

“This Motion for the removal of the NBA President Paul Usoro SAN has no bearing whatsoever on the pending NBA election lawsuit and or arbitration/mediation or KPMG’s audit, although Mr Usoro does appear to stultify the audit process.

“This Motion arises out of his money laundering charges; Mr Paul Usoro SAN is  being investigated for possible prosecution by EFCC.

“During the NBA campaigns there were allegations of Usoros’ money laundering activities with State actors with whom he connived to collect monies from Akwa Ibom State Government coffers in the total sum of one billion, four hundred million naira in suspicious and fraudulent transactions as highlighted by EFCC on Oath in Nov., 2018.

“On the 25th July 2018,  approximately four week to NBA e-voting, on his Twitter account, Mr Paul Usoro [SAN] stated before a public audience and NBA Voters that he did not collect money from Akwa Ibom State Government account, invariably chided SaharaReporters who had queried Usoros professional  conduct.

“When indeed and in fact in June 2018 in a  statement signed by Mr Paul Usoro he admitted to EFCC that the said sums were actually collected from Akwa Ibom State Government coffers; Usoros lack of credibility and transparency exhibited.

“EFCC has filed court processes indicting the said Mr Paul Usoro SAN on account of his money laundering activities as aforesaid and hence Mr Usoro will have to exit the exalted office of the President to defend himself in pending litigations.”

NBA affirmed that the meeting will hold on Wednesday 5th December and/or Thursday 6th December 2018 at the hour of 9 O’clock in the forenoon or so soon thereafter as the business of NEC permits.

According to the statement, NEC will be prayed for the following Reliefs/Resolutions:-

  • “Removing the said Mr Paul Usoro SAN forthwith from the office of the President of NBA to prevent his further scandalous activities that denigrate the learned and honourable profession and Noble NBA.
  • “That the next most senior NBA National officer would take over the running of NBA and conduct a bye-election for other Presidential contenders that is to say in alphabetical order Ojukwu SAN and Okafor SAN.”

This is sequel to Article 2.3 of the NBA Constitution 2015, which says the President will be removed by effluxion of time, upon resignation or removal by NEC NBA on any reasonable cause.

A Group of concerned NBA members, in a letter dated 11th October 2018, had given President Usoro option of resignation within 14 days of receipt of the said letter which was delivered and stamped received on 12th October, 2018.

The resignation option was issued on grounds of allegations of bribing a Judge of the National Industrial Court  Mr Justice James T. Agbadu-Fishim.

Agbadu-Fishim was, after Usoro’s inauguration, been recommended for dismissal on 4th October 2018 by the National Judicial Council(NJC) and has stopped sitting as a Judge since 4/10/2018.

Statutory members of NEC required to sign individually and to move collectively,  unless otherwise there may be abstentions, include national officers, NBA former presidents and general secretaries, and current branch chairmen, secretaries and NEC representatives.


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