FCT election: Court fixes Nov.24 to hear Ugwu’s suit against Ogbeche

Mon, Jul 25, 2022
By editor


 THE National Industrial Court on Monday fixed Nov.24 to hear Mr Donald Ugwu’s suit of alleged election violation against Mr Emmanuel Ogbeche of Nigeria Union of Journalists, FCT Council.

The judge, Justice Osatohanmwen Obaseki-Osaghae, fixed the date after Okechukwu Osuagwu, the defendant’s counsel informed the court that he was served with an application from the claimant’s counsel, asking for an adjournment.

The counsel, Okorie Michael Okorie in the application had requested for an adjournment to attend his brother’s burial.

The court after acknowledging receipt of the same application asked if Okechukwu was objecting the application.

The court therefore adjourned until Nov. 24 for hearing of originating summon and other processes.

The court also directed that hearing notice be served on the claimant’s counsel.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ogbeche of the Abuja Enquirer, who was present during Monday’s proceeding was served originating summons by substituted means as ordered by the court on June 6.

The substituted means was by way of pasting the summon and hearing notice at NUJ Secretariat, Zone B, 05, E.A Ekukiinam Street, Utako District, Abuja.

The suit has as first defendant the registered trustees of the NUJ and Ogbeche as the second defendant respectively.

The suit as instituted by Ugwu of NAN claimed that the election of Ogbeche as the chairman of NUJ, FCT Council, was a violation of the union’s constitution.

NAN reports that the claimant, an Assistant Editor in-Chief in NAN, is seeking amongst others, an order of the court to set aside the inauguration of Ogbeche as chairman of NUJ FCT Council on Dec. 4, 2021.

He is also praying the court to declare that the second defendant (Ogbeche) was neither qualified to contest the said election, nor to become an officer of the union.

The claimant posited that he was the only duly qualified candidate for the office of chairman in the said poll, and urged the court to invoke the constitution and declare him duly elected.

The claimant is also urging the court to determine if the check-off dues of the second defendant were being deducted at source, paid, or remitted monthly by his employer, the Abuja Enquirer.

Ugwu is also asking the court to determine if the second defendant, not being in good financial standing in the union, was legally qualified as a candidate for chairman or any other elective position of the Union.

He is also praying the court to determine whether the screening and clearance of the second defendant by the credentials committee were not unlawful, unconstitutional, and void.

Ugwu is further asking the court to determine whether the constitution of the union in any of its provisions contemplated any form, way, and manner of payment of check-off dues by financial members other than the way and manner it prescribed.

He is asking the court to declare that the union violated its constitution in the Dec. 4, 2021, FCT Council election.

In addition to the declarative prayers, Ugwu is seeking the court to grant an order to nullify the purported screening and clearance of Ogbeche.

The claimant is seeking another order disqualifying Ogbeche, an order nullifying the purported election, and an order setting aside his purported inauguration as chairman of the FCT NUJ council.

He is also seeking an order of the court for a perpetual injunction restraining Ogbeche from parading himself as the chairman of the FCT Council of the NUJ.

Ugwu is also urging the court to declare him as the sole candidate qualified to contest the office of chairman.

In addition to the prayer to be declared the winner of the election, Ugwu also seeks an order directing the first defendant to immediately swear him into office as chairman, FCT Council of NUJ. (NAN)