By Uche Amunike
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria ( SAN), Maikyau Yakubu has just emerged the 31st President, Nigerian Bar Association after securing 22,342 votes to floor his major opponent, Joe-Kyari Gadzama (SAN) who is the Chairman, NBA Securities Agencies Relations Committee and who garnered 10,842 votes.
In the fiercely contested virtual election, which started at 12 noon on Saturday, July 16 and ended, 12 midnight, the 3rd candidate for the NBA’s highest office, Taidi Gunu, amassed 380 votes, thereby representing 4% of the total 34,554 votes that were gotten for the position.
The Chairman of the Electoral Committee, Professor Ayodele Akintunde (SAN) announced the result of the poll, Sunday morning, in Abuja.
Hear him: ‘A total of 59,392 records were received as people on final Voter Register and we were able to upload 59,388 records with four records being invalid contact information.’
‘A total of 34,809 votes were cast, representing 58.61% of the total number of eligible voters, while 1,314 ballots opened but were not cast.
According to him, some of the general complaints received by the Electoral Committee Secretary included wrong/invalid contact information, multiple email reminders, the inability of some lawyers to input their Supreme Court Number (SCN) correctly as instructed and also, absence of voting links.
Apart from Maikyau Yakubu emerging President, Nigerian Bar Association, other officers were also elected into different positions. Adesina Adegbite clinched the position of General Secretary, while Daniel Kip Ka-Ayli emerged Assistant General Secretary.
The position of National Welfare Secretary went to Chinyere Obasi, while National Publicity Secretary was clinched by Habeeb Lawal. Olawole Ajiboye won the position of Assistant Publicity Secretary, while Anze-Bishop Ladidi became Treasurer. The position of 1st Vice President went to Linda Bala, just as Clement Ugo clinched the position of 2nd Vice President, with Amanda Demechi-Asagba equally elected 3rd Vice President.
Relatively, the association elected 20 lawyers as members of the NBA General Council to represent the Western, Eastern and Northern zones of lawyers in the country.
While giving his victory speech, the newly elected President, Nigeria Bar Association, Maikyau Yakubu (SAN) asked all contenders in the just concluded election to put all hands on deck for the greater good of lawyers in the country.
He also thanked the outgoing President of the NBA, Mr. Olumide Akpata, for giving the NBA quality leadership in the last two years and went on to promise that the NBA under his watch, will speak truth to power, promote the rule of law and protect human rights in the country.
In the reaction, his predecessor, the outgoing President of the NBA, Mr Akpata, commended the members of the electoral committee of the legal association for their hard work in ensuring that the election was a success, while advising all the members that lost in the election to accept the results in good faith in the overall interest of the NBA.
Akpata made history as the only NBA President who is not a Senior Advocate of Nigeria in the past 10 years.
The newly elected President, Nigerian Bar Association, Maikyau Yakubu, also made a call to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to come and understudy the technology-driven electoral system of the NBA to conduct free and fair elections in 2023, while adding that his administration will be a transparent one.