👤By Uthman Muhammed
ABUJA — Paul Usoro, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, has won the Nigeria Bar Association, Presidential election, defeating his closest rival Arthur Obi Okafor by a few votes.
Mr Usoro, a Senior Partner at Paul Usoro & Co, a commercial law firm in Nigeria won 4,509 votes, while, Mr Okafor received 4, 423 and Ernest Ojuwkwu, a former Deputy Director General and Head of Campus, Nigerian Law School, recieved 3, 313 votes in the result announced by Auwalu Yadudu, chairman of the electoral committee on Monday.
Members of the association were expecting to cast their votes online on August 6, but the elections were postponed. The elections where finally held on 19th to 20th of August 2018.
The outgoing President Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud received a lot of criticism for the delay.
During his campaign, Mr Usoro, promised that if he wins, he would “mentor young lawyers, improve the welfare of lawyers generally, speak for the voiceless and preserve the legal market for Nigerian lawyers.”
Not everyone seem happy with the election results, as a challenger, Professor Ojukwu, also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN rejected the results because of the “rigging and skewed process.”
“Though a winner has emerged from this present contest, remember that we contested against corruption, massive vote buying, vote capture, rigging and a skewed process,” he said.
However, he said he was not going to challenge the results because “of my long and selfless commitment to regenerating the Bar, and the need not create tension in our legal profession, I shall not contest it.”
Mr Obi, SAN, similarly said the election was “rigged.”
“I participated in the aforesaid election to conclusion. It is in my candid view that the election was rigged by which I was denied victory.
“In the course of the election, my team made complaints of obvious malpractices, including harvesting of voters’ details using some funny email domains. These complaints were not attended to.
“I do hereby reject the result of the elections. Whilst considering various options open to me, I call for a participatory post-election audit of both the verification process and voting.”