My attention has been drawn to a post circulating on social media in which a report that the EFCC had filed charges against Mr John Demide and one other person for allegedly rigging the 2018 NBA elections is juxtaposed with Mr Demide’s post on Twitter in support of my candidature. It would appear that the sole objective of this juxtaposition is to create the patently false and malicious impression that Mr Demide had been engaged to rig the 2020 NBA presidential election in my favour.

I know Mr Demide as one of my supporters and he has been involved in canvassing support for my candidature in Abuja and beyond. To the best of my knowledge, he is neither an employee of the NBA nor a member of the ECNBA.

When the news broke on Tuesday, 21 July 2020 that the EFCC had filed charges against him and one other person for allegedly rigging the 2018 NBA elections, he called me and offered, on his own volition, to step down his support for my candidature and focus on defending the charges against him and clearing his name. Prior to the news breaking, I had not been aware of any allegations against Mr Demide or that he was being investigated by the EFCC.

As a firm believer in the rule of law, I believe that Mr Demide is constitutionally presumed innocent until his guilt is established in a court of law and we should respect this his constitutional right.

I have offered myself as a candidate in this election because I believe that I have what it takes to move our association forward. I am not desperate to be President of the NBA and will never lend my name to any act or conduct that corrupts the electoral process.

Let’s do better.

Dr Babatunde Ajibade, SAN, FCIArb.

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