The news of the resignation of the Chair of the Election Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) came to many Lawyers as a surprise. The story was further supported by a resignation letter purportedly written and signed by Prof Yadudu the Chair. Courtroom Mail investigations embarked on a swift voyage of discovery and found out that the news was fake.
However, Lawyers who believed it are as guilty as those who shared it because it was apparent and very patent on the face of the said letter that it was not true .The reasons are as follows
- The Letter was written on the letter headed paper of the Nigerian Bar Association: Yes, the ECNBA has been wrongly issuing some of its communications with the NBA letter headed paper instead of the ECNBA letter head but a notice of resignation from the chair to the NBA President will not come with the NBA Letter headed paper but with the ECNBA letter headed paper. One cannot resign on a letter headed paper where he has no portfolio.
- The letter started with “RE” : A voluntary resignation letter should be original. It cannot be a reply as the letter clearly states. What this may have shown is that perhaps the Chair contemplated a resignation. The content of the letter shows that it was primarily a response to a communication he was already having with the President. That is the closest to the truth the letter can be.(It can only start with “RE” if the letter is in response to a previous letter advising him to resign but the body of the letter does not show that.
- Resignations letters are formal letters: I do not want to believe that a Professor of Law will begin his letter with Mr President. No. The right thing is The President, Nigerian Bar Association…. Sign up and get listed on the first electronic directory of lawyers in Africa.It is free and Profitable
- Paragraph 4 of the said letter clearly shows the intention of the mischief maker- The paragraph purports that the Chairman of the ECNBA admitted that the first service provider was compromised. The Chair has never said that the first ICT service providers were compromised and at no time were they found to be compromised rather it was at the instant of one of the Presidential candidates that the ICT Partner was relieved from conducting the verification. Any Lawyer who saw the fourth paragraph should have smelt a rat. I think the real intention of the mischief maker is in paragraph 4
Lawyers are trained to scrutinise documents and those who could not see the apparent “fakeness” of the news should have a good junk of the blame in spreading the fake news.