The Chairman of NBA Ikeja Branch, Bartholomew Aguegbodo, Esq along with 15 others have been dragged before the High Court of Lagos State over his alleged flagrant violation of provisions of the NBA Constitution and Uniform Bye-Law 2015.
The Claimants in the suit marked ID/4747 6011/2021 which was filed on the 18th day of June, 2021 are Roselyn Obakpolor (the immediate past Vice-chairman of the Branch) and Joy Mmesoma Unaeze, Esq.
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The Claimants accused the Chairman of acting in breach of the provisions of Article 10(3) of the NBA Uniform Bye-Law when he unilaterally, and without any firm or extant legal basis, purported to “appoint” three members to constitute the Election Committee to conduct election into the vacant position of Branch Treasurer and National Executive Committee, NEC, Representative, amongst other breaches.
The Claimants also contended in their vehement averments before the Court that the Chairman does not have the power to clear and/or disqualify any member from contesting any of the available vacant positions as he is not a member of the Election Committee.
Specifically, a paragraph from the Affidavit in Support of the Originating Summons deposed to by Roselyn Obakpolor, Esq. further records as follows:
“That at the General Meeting of the NBA Ikeja Branch held on the 7th June, 2021, (which I attended), the 2nd Defendant (the Branch Chairman), in excess of legal power and authority, acted ultra vires and in breach of the clear provisions of Article 10 of the NBA Uniform Bye-Law 2015, when he purportedly constituted an Election Committee by announcing the names of the 14th to 16th Defendants as Chairman, Secretary and member respectively to conduct elections into the vacant positions of National Executive Committee Representative (NEC Rep) and Treasurer of the Branch.”
In the Originating Summons filed on their behalf by their Counsel, Ademola Ijaoba, Esq. of D’Alpha & Knight Solicitors, the Claimants submitted four (4) questions for the Court’s determination and are praying the Honourable Court upon such determination, for a grant of the following reliefs, to wit:
“1. A declaration that that pursuant to the provisions of Article 8 (1) of the NBA Uniform Bye-Law, 2015, the 2nd to 12th Defendants as elected officers of the NBA Ikeja Branch and being only a constituent of the Executive Committee of the Branch cannot exclusively, lawfully and validly carry out the functions and duties of the Executive Committee under Article 8 (7) of the UBL 2015.
- A declaration that the underlisted Committees, namely: the Fact-Finding Committee, Law Week Committee, Continuing Legal Education Committee, and Election Committee purportedly constituted/appointed by only elected officers of the Branch (2nd to 12th Defendants) in the name of the Executive Committee and in breach of the mandatory provisions of the NBA Uniform Bye-Law are unlawful, illegal, ultra vires and unconstitutional.
- A declaration that in view of Articles 8 (1), 9 and 10 (3) of the UBL 2015, the Election Committee purportedly constituted by the 2nd Defendant on the 7th of June, 2021 is illegal and cannot validly conduct elections into the vacant positions of Branch Treasurer and National Executive Committee Representative (“NEC Rep”) of the NBA Ikeja Branch.
- A declaration that in view of the provisions of Article 10 (3) (b) of the UBL 2015, the 2nd Defendant cannot suo moto validly determine and disqualify any aspirant to any of the vacant and available offices for contest in NBA Ikeja whilst he is not a member of the Election Committee he purportedly constituted, as he openly did in the General Meeting of 7th June, 2021 by declaring that only Messrs Abdulsalam Abdulateef and Adesina Ogunlaa were the eligible candidates to contest for the NEC Rep election in NBA Ikeja Branch.
- A declaration that the 2nd to 12th Defendants jointly and or severally cannot lawfully set out expenditure bills and spend moneys from the coffers of NBA Ikeja Branch without complying with the provisions of Article 13 (6) of the UBL 2015.
- An order of injunction restraining the 2nd to 12th Defendants jointly or severally, whether by themselves, servants, agents, privies, cronies or howsoever described and/or through any person(s) or Committee howsoever called or described from taking any step or further steps in furtherance of the conduct of elections into the vacant positions of NEC Rep and Treasurer of the NBA Ikeja Branch.
- An order of injunction restraining the following Committees, namely: Election Committee, Disciplinary Committee 1 & 2 and Fact-Finding Committee from acting or further acting and or functioning in their respective capacities or in any way whatsoever.
- An order restraining the 14th to 16th Defendants (the purported Election Committee Members) from taking any step or further steps towards the conduct of elections into the vacant positions of NEC Rep and Treasurer of NBA Ikeja Branch.”
- At the time of filing this report, all the Defendants have been duly served with the substantive Originating Summons and Motion on Notice for interlocutory injunction.
A date is yet to be fixed for the hearing of the suit.
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