JEGA'S APPOINTMENT'LL NOT SOLVE INEC'S PROBLEMS — NBA
The Nigerian Bar Association has said that the appointment of Prof. Attahiru Jega as the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission will not necessarily usher in a regime of free and fair election.
In a statement by the association's President, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), on Thursday, the NBA cautioned Nigerians against believing that Jega possessed the magic wand to perform miracles in the absence of institutional structures to check potential aberrant attitude.
It warned that those who had no visible means of livelihood outside politics would be relentless in ensuring that the status quo remained.
NBA commended President Goodluck Jonathan for appointing Jega but urged him to go the full hog by embarking on a total overhaul of the commission.
It said, 'The Bar must throw in a caveat to the new appointee who will be moving into an ambience already polluted by iniquitous acts. The commission must be overhauled. Prof Jega must start on a clean slate.'
The association also said that the judgment of a Federal High Court in Calabar declaring a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Michael Aondoakaa (SAN) unfit to occupy public office has vindicated it.
NBA further said that a former Zamfara State Governor Ahmed Sani should vacate his seat as a senator after marrying a 13-year old minor.
Referring to the aspect of the judgment which directed NBA to punish Aondoakaa for the role he played in the disobedience of a court order by directing the Independent National Electoral Commission not to issue a certificate of return to Mr. Emmanuel Obot after he was declared the winner of the elections into the Uyo Federal Constituency, NBA said the association would not shield any of its members accused of any wrongdoings.
It said, 'We hasten to state, without gloating, that the Bar feels vindicated on its positions on national issues which certain political jobbers twisted to paint us with the brush of partisanship undeservedly.
'We expect more of those whose activities have brought this country to this sorry pass to be exposed.'
The association described Sani's marriage to the 13-year old Egyptian girl as disgraceful and criminal.
It said that it was even more unfortunate for him to hide under Islamic religion which preached continence.
It said, 'The position of the Bar is that this man cannot continue to sit in the hallowed chamber of the Senate, contributing in the making of laws he does not believe in.
'Characters like this man should not be allowed to hide under religion to perpetrate acts inimical to the well-being of the citizens of this country, most especially children who must be protected by reasonable adults.'