Edo govt halts NBA election over Covid-19 scare

Edo govt halts NBA election over Covid-19 scare


Edo State Government Taskforce on Covid-19 on Sunday dislodged delegates to the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Benin branch election under the lens of Coronavirus (Covid-19) scare.


Tens of delegates (Lawyers) to the election are said to have abandoned their vehicles and fled to bushes around the area while be stranded when Security personnel on Sunday morning shut down the ‘Bar house’ indefinitely, thereby preventing them from members from holding their election.


Members of the Association were said to have threw caution to the wind on Sunday which is a work free Day and converged on the bar house before they were dislodged by a team of security operatives.

Peeved by the rising cases of Covid-19 in the State, the State Government enacted a legal framework (gazette) prohibiting large gatherings in the State as part of stringent measures to curb the spread the pandemic in the State.

Sources said that security personnel got intelligence report on the election, swopped in on NBA members who were accused of flouting the laws, shut down the venue.

The covert operation which lasted for few minutes while passerby heading for religious worship, watched with glee.

A top security personnel who was also present at the scene, told our Correspondent that “Lawyers are are not above the law. They are suppose to obey the laws, and not to break it”, he said menacingly.

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It is not yet clear whether the State Government will quarantine Lawyers who were present at the venue when members of the Taskforce on Covid-19 arrived.

Meanwhile, The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Benin Branch Elections Appeals Panel (Western Zone) has considered and made it known that the constitution of the Benin branch Election Committee that was constituted was in contravention of the uniform Bye-laws for Branches and has recommended that the said Election committee be disbanded.

The president of NBA, Paul Usoro SAN, has also constituted a Caretaker Committee to handle the affairs of the Branch ,in line with Article 11 of the uniform By-laws for Branches for a period of three months.

The directive which was conveyed to the Bar via a statement which was seen by our Correspondent on Sunday, followed the expiration of the tenure of the incumbent Executive Committee of Benin Branch of the NBA on 15th June 2020.

Contacted for comments, the outgoing Spokesman of NBA, Benin branch, Mr Ogbankwa, feigned ignorance of the incident, but he promised to get back to our Correspondent later.

Evidence abounds that the State Government had questioned the neutrality of Edo State Chapter of the NBA in the wake of the unabated crisis that engulfed APC in the State.

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Our Correspondent reports that the leadership of NBA Benin branch led by Mr Collins Ogiegbaen has being critical of the State Government.

The last time Ogiegbaen made headlines in the media was when he and some members of the Association who were led by police personnel to exhume the body of one of his members, Barrister Osobase Omo-Iyoha who was murdered and buried in a shallow grave by a notorious five-man gang currently in police custody in Benin.


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