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High Court Approves Adjournment on Suit to Sack NBA President

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting at Maitama has adjourned suit seeking to sack the National President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, sine-die (indefinitely). The suit was filed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Joe Kyari Gadzama, who contested for the NBA top job with Mr. Mahmoud. Gadzama had approached the court, praying it to void the election which he said was fraught with manifest irregularities. The plaintiff, among other things, contended that many lawyers were disenfranchised from voting during the election. He maintained that the process was deliberately skewed to favour Mahmoud. Meanwhile, before the case was adjourned indefinitely by Justice Y. Halilu, Gadzama’s lawyer, Mr. Sebastian Hon, SAN, via a letter dated November 30, sought for an adjournment to enable him to appeal against an interlocutory ruling the court delivered on the matter. Hon said his client was not satisfied with decision of Justice Halilu to firstly hear and determine a motion challenging jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit. He had earlier urged the court to consolidate all the processes filed in the matter and hear them alongside the substantive suit. In his letter, Hon, drew attention of the court to the fact that his notices of appeal dated November 15 and 22 were already pending before the appellate court. “The Record of Appeal has also been transmitted to the court of appeal and served on all defendants/respondents “In view of the pending appeal which has been duly entered, we hereby apply for adjournment of this matter sine-die pending the decision of the court of appeal”. However, ‎the NBA President, Mahmoud, SAN, has prayed the court to strike out the suit for want of merit. Mahmoud, in a preliminary objection he lodged against the suit through his counsel Mr. Paul Erokoro, SAN, insisted that Gadzama did not first of all channel his complaints to the NBA Dispute Resolution Committee before taking the matter to court. Abubakar-Mahmoud Abubakar-Mahmoud “This suit has not complied with the requirements of due process. The condition-precedent to the commencement of this suit was not fulfilled,” Mahmoud said. Mahmoud said Gadzama’s suit was premature and robs the court of its jurisdiction. Gadzama had in the suit, contended that he polled 2,963 votes in the election rather than 2,384 votes announced by the electoral committee. “The Plaintiff avers that contrary to the result declared by the eight Defendant (Mr. Kenneth Mozia (SAN), Chairman, Electoral Committee of the NBA), at the close of voting, at 12:00 midnight on Sunday, 31st July, 2016, the result of the 2016 Nigerian Bar Association Election as it relates to the office/position of the President, as collated from and contained on the official voting domain/platform was as follows: Joe-Kyari Gadzama, 2,963; Abubakar B. Mahmoud, 2,465.” Defendants in the matter are NBA trustees, Abdullahi Ibrahim (SAN), Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Thompson Joseph Onomigho Okpoko (SAN), Chief Priscilla Kuye, Alhaji Murtala Aminu And Chief Anthony O. Mogbo. Others are the Incorporated Trustees of NBA, Chairman, NBA Electoral Committee Mr. Ken Mozia (SAN), Mr. Oluwaseun Ajoba (Secretary, NBA Electoral Committee) electoral committee members Hajia Safiya Balarabe, Mrs Amaka Ezeno, Mrs. Eucharia Pepple, Grace Infotech Limited, former NBA President, Mr. Augustine Alegeh (SAN) and Mahmoud.

Photo Credit: 
nigerianeye.com

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