Tayo Busayo, Abuja – The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has suspended its General Secretary, Joyce Oduah, over allegations of “gross misconduct.”

The decision was taken at an emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee of the association early Monday.

At the meeting were the president of the NBA, Olumide Akpata, the suspended general secretary, Joyce Oduah, and ten members of the NEC with the first vice president of the NBA, John Aikpokpo Martins presiding over the meeting as Akpata voluntarily took leave of his role as the presiding officer.

Nine members of the NEC except Olumide Akpata and Joyce Oduah signed the resolution suspending the general secretary.

According to the resolution suspending the secretary, “the National Executive Committee has unanimously exercised its emergency powers under section 9(6) (d) of the NBA Constitution 2015 (as amended in 2021) to suspend Joyce Oduah from office as the general Secretary of the association with immediate effect pending the pre-conference meeting of the NBA-NEC scheduled to hold on Sunday, August 21, 2022”.

An internal memo dated August 14, formed the basis for the emergency meeting of the NEC and several allegations were made against the suspended general secretary. The memo titled ‘Need for Urgent Action to Forestall a Crisis in the NBA’ was addressed to the president, Olumide Akpata, and was signed by national executive officers.

The allegations against Oduah include her recent unilateral withdrawal of notices for the amendment of the NBA constitution. Other allegations include her dereliction of duty and act of insubordination.

According to the memo, the general secretary has been “a clog in the smooth administration of the association by various acts of dereliction of duty, disobedience to lawful orders” which constituted acts of insubordination.

Another issue that was raised against the general secretary bordered on her “lack of capacity to diligently discharge the duties of her office.”

“The general secretary is always unable to produce communiqué immediately after NEC meetings as expected,” the memo read, adding that the president, Olumide Akpata, working with the publicity secretary, Rapulu Nduka, would always stand in the gap of doing the job.

This suspension is coming days before the annual general conference of the NBA, which is expected to hold between August 19 to 26, 2022 at the Eko Atlantic City, Lagos.

It is proposed that the NBA would hold its annual general meeting during the conference and would also inaugurate the president-elect, Yakubu Maikyau, SAN and other recently elected national officers.