The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Benin Branch has refuted claims that it purportedly endorsed Osagie Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
Chairman of Edo NBA, Barr. Pius Oiwoh, on behalf of other executives of the Bar, at a press conference in Benin City on Wednesday, described the claim as false, misguided and mischievous.
According to Oiwoh, “Our attention has been drawn to a malicious, false and mischievous statement circulating the online media that I, Pius Oiwoh, has endorsed the candidate of APC, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu in the forthcoming governorship election in Edo State.
“Let it be known and clear that neither the branch nor myself as chairman ever endorsed any candidate in the forthcoming governorship election, as both candidates of the major political parties visited the Bar House to interact with the judiciary to tell the judiciary and the NBA on what they will do when given the opportunity to serve for the next four years.”
The NBA chairman noted that the NBA is an observer group in the election, adding that as chairman of the Benin Branch of the NBA, he is prevented by law from endorsing a particular candidate as the Bar is apolitical and non-partisan.
Oiwoh called on the general public to disregard the misguided and mischievous online report, which he said is misleading and done in bad fate.
“When both candidates came here at different times, we tasked them on the need to respect the independence of the judiciary and support the financial autonomy law, which is in place already.
“Let it be known that the Benin Bar would not, has not, and will not endorse any candidate. This is the position of the Bar,” he stressed.
Oiwoh further enjoined both candidates and their supporters to act within the law before, during and after the election.