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NBA General Secretary, Joyce Oduah Suspended

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Following allegations of gross misconduct, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has suspended its General Secretary, Joyce Oduah.

Mrs Oduah is also accused of unilaterally withdrawing notices for the amendment of the association’s constitution. The constitution amendment, by the earlier notices, was meant to be considered at the association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled to begin on August 19 in Lagos.

NBA president, Olumide Akpata, had last Friday, issued a disclaimer reversing the withdrawal of the notices for the constitution amendment.

The NBA’s National Executive Committee took the decision to suspend Oduah at an emergency meeting early Monday.

Oduah and 10 other members of the committee, including Akpata, were present at the meeting.

The meeting was presided by the first Vice President, John Martins, with Akpata voluntarily withdrawing to play the role.

With the exception of Akpata and Oduah, nine members in attendance signed the resolution suspending the General Secretary.

The nine members of the committee who signed the resolution had, in a letter dated August 9 and addressed to Akpata, called for the emergency meeting to address recent actions recently taken by Oduah.

According to an internal memo from the national officers addressed to Akpata and dated August 14, Oduah was accused of lacking the “proper temperament” expected of her office as General Secretary.

“Mrs Oduah has throughout this administration exhibited domineering, rude, disrespectful and obstructive attitude that has greatly affected the morale and working atmosphere in the national secretariat,” the document read.

The memo cited an instance where Oduah “physically assaulted a staff and a member of the Association, Mr Ndifreke Aquaisua when she without provocation or lawful reason slapped him in the office.”

Aquaisua allegedly resigned as a result of the clash.

Oduah was also said to have led the NBA election observers “to pay an unsolicited visit to the home of the Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN (Ondo State governor) on the date of the election, whilst the voting was ongoing.”

The Assistant General Secretary, Uchenna Nwadialo, is to act as the general secretary pending the pre-conference meeting of the NBA-NEC.

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