NBA Moves To Remove Usoro As President, Holds EGM Feb. 26
The Nigerian Bar Association [NBA] has announced its notice of extraordinary general meeting which will hold on Tuesday 26th Feb., 2019, at Sheraton Hotels and towers, Abuja, where it is believed Mr Paul Usoro, SAN, will be removed as the Association’s president.
The notice was prepared by Ms. Carol Ajie and brought pursuant to SS 2.3(i) and 10(4)&(7) of the constitution of Nigerian Bar Association, 2015.
Top on the agenda to be deliberated are:
- On Monday 20th August 2018, Mr Paul Usoro SAN was declared President of the Nigerian Bar Association by the Election Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association, ECNBA against other cleared presidential candidates.
- Controversies trailed the 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, the firm of KPMG to carry out forensic examinations. Mr Paul Usoro SAN stultified the work of KPMG.
- Prior to his inauguration as NBA President on 30th August 2018, the other Presidential candidates complained against Mr Paul Usoro SAN and one of the candidates actually petitioned the EFCC. Whereat EFCC obtained useful statements from witnesses.
- NEC-NBA on Sunday 26th August 2018, resolved that the said Mr Paul Usoro’s inauguration and other National officers would nonetheless hold as scheduled at the Annual General Conference of NBA in Abuja even though the AGC was unsatisfactorily organized by Mr George Etomi and Mrs Mfon Usoro the TCCP Chair and sub-committee Chair of Logistics respectively, to the extent that the first National Executive Committee of the NBA on 6th Dec., 2018 totally condemned the organizers of 2018 NBA AGC inspite of Usoro presiding, held never again will conference organizers collect fees and not deliver the goods and services promised at the time of registration to our Dear NBA members.
- One of the Presidential candidates, Arthur Obi Okafor SAN approached the FCT High Court Abuja to seek inter alia verification of the contested election results and the matter was referred by the presiding Judge for arbitration/mediation to be commenced and concluded within sixty (60) days from Monday 26th Nov., 2018. The sixty (60) days lapsed and again no successful mediation was attempted and achieved.
- On Monday 10th December 2018, EFCC arraigned the said Mr Paul Usoro SAN on a ten count charge of money laundering, criminal breach of trust and corruption before the Hon. Justice Hassan of the Federal High Court Lagos who granted the Defendant Bail in the sum of N250Million and one surety and adjourned to 5th Feb., 2019 for trial in N0. FHC/L/418C/2018 F.R.N -vs- Paul Usoro SAN for receiving the sum of One Billion, Four Hundred Million Naira in suspicious transactions.
- By Letter under his hand, the accused person or defendant as referred by ACJA 2015, Paul Usoro wrote to the Hon. Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for transfer or reassignment of his criminal matter. Despite that Hon. Justice Hassan was a very fair minded Presiding Judge who had ensured the accused person was not held in EFCC cell or police custody pending perfection of his Bail terms and had treated the accused with utmost courtesy and fairness, showing no form of bias at all to any of the parties.
- Whereupon in Jan., 2019, His Lordship the Hon Justice Kafarati C.J reassigned and or transferred the said Charge Number FHC/L/418C/2018 THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA –vs- PAUL USORO SAN to Hon. Justice Professor Obiozor who then when the matter came up on 5th February 2019 adjourned and thereafter outrightly declined it and returned the case file to the Honourable Chief Judge of the Federal High Court citing “personal interest.” The accused would appear forum shopping.
- Mr. Paul Usoro SAN yet preposterously holds on to the exalted office of President even as confidence waned in the miasmic situation members were awkwardly in, as a result of Usoro’s refusal to resign the office to enamour respect for the exalted and esteemed office of the learned, noble and honourable profession.
- EFCC having filed court processes indicting the Mr Paul Usoro SAN on account of money laundering activities etc. Mr Usoro will exit forthwith the prestigious seat of President of Africa’s largest bar forum to face his pending criminal trial(s).
Sequel to Article 2.3 of NBA Constitution 2015, the occupant of the office of President of NBA would be removed from office upon reasonable cause shown such as since 10th Dec., 2018 when Mr Paul Usoro SAN in the dock for some grievous charges.
According to the notice, “by virtue of Article 10(7) of the NBA Constitution, 2015 a minimum of 100 members of NBA from 1/3rd of the Branches are required to sign.
“Signatories will state Names, SC enrollment Numbers, Branches, Telephone Numbers and email addresses.
“Manual signatures are permitted. Signatories not restricted to Branch or National Officers past and serving or of any office.
“Our NBA members eligible to sign. We have more than the required number to Go!”
The agenda of the meeting pursuance of Article 10(4) of the NBA Constitution, which stipulates that the EGM must set out its agenda for all to view, are as follows:
- Resolution Removing Mr Paul Usoro SAN from the office of President of NBA.
- Resolution replacing the removed President Paul Usoro SAN and Election of a New President of NBA from the published presidential candidates, two solid names.
- Resolutions nullifying nominees of Mr Paul Usoro including his TCCP list considering he re-appointed some names condemned by NEC NBA at its meeting on the 6th December, 2018 as Lawyers incapable of serving NBA and others with antecedents of zero public interest work.
- Resolution nullifying Mr Usoro’s double taxation decision of compelling NBA members to pay for NBA Stamp in addition to payment of Bar practicing fees rather than issuing the stamps considering the generality of NBA members do not get reliefs for subscription. Meaning NBA under Usoro collects money and delivers no service to members.
- Resolution for the new TCCP to be appointed by the new President to organize state of the art conference for lawyers in a wi-fi environment with access to clean bottled water, at least tea/coffee break, healthy Nigerian and Continental buffet lunch. Quality conference bags containing the NBA Financial report and writing materials at the time of registration. Plus iphones(Tablets) bearing in mind bulk purchase reduces cost.
- Resolution restraining the new TCCP from modelling on 2018 TCCP that collected huge conference fees from 11,000 plus lawyers for iPhones(Tablets) but refused to deliver iPhone.
- Resolution restraining the new TCCP from paying out money to TCCP members as witnessed in the announcement made by Mr Paul Usoro in January 2019 when he constituted the TCCP. New TCCP should learn to reduce running costs by planning meetings in “GoToMeeting” online or by forming WhatsApp forum for its members only or by holding telephone meetings via Skype. Usoro’s TCCP is surprisingly analogue, also Usoros announced that he will put our hard earned fees to pay air tickets etc for his TCCP members. The new TCCP should be frugal and efficient.
THE NEMO JUDEX IN CAUSA SUA RULE:
The NOTICE further stated that Usoro, SAN, cannot preside because of the golden rule that he cannot be a Judge in his own cause.
Guide as to who presides at EGM:
- The 1st vice president is to preside; in his absence
- The 2nd vice president of NBA to preside; in her absence
- The 3rd vice president of NBA to preside; in his absence
- The most senior member from the rank and file of past NBA presidents in order of seniority; and in their absence
- The most senior lawyer present and able to preside.
CONSEQUENCES OF REMOVAL FROM OFFICE:
Attempts, however feeble by Mr Paul Usoro to continue to exercise the duties and functions of the office of NBA President after his removal and replacement, would amount to impersonation of the NBA office which is also a prosecutable act.
Service is on the National Secretariat as required by NBA rules at NBA House, Abuja