The upcoming National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Nigerian Bar Association may not hold, going by a court order made today by Justice Jude O. Okeke of the FCT High Court, Maitama in the matter of EMMANUEL ECHE OCHUBOJU v IINCORPORATED TRUSTEES OF THE NBA & 13 ORS.
The plaintiff (a senior lawyer) filed an action of originating summons asking the court to interpret the judgment of the federal high court in suit no FCT/ABJ/CS/546/16: OLASUPO OJO v THE REGISTERED TRUSTEES OF THE NBA delivered on the 30th March 2017, which nullified the NBA amended constitution that gave rise to the election of the national officers of the NBA. This was a declaratory judgment that stated that the NBA constitution that was relied on to conduct that election was null and void and all the people that emerged from that election are not to be seen as national officers of the EMMANUEL ECHE OCHUBOJU v IINCORPORATED TRUSTEES OF THE NBA & 13 ORS..
The plaintiff sought the court’s interpretation, having regards to that judgement, that the national officers of the NBA should be stopped from further parading themselves as the Executive officers of the association.
Subsequently, Daniel Bwala, Esq of Bwala and Co. (counsel to the plaintiff) filed a motion exparte to stop the NBA EXCO from conducting the NEC meeting scheduled to hold in Lokoja from the 31st of May to 2nd of June 2017, pending the determination of the substantive matter, citing the reason that if the meeting is held, decisions that will have far reaching effects on the substance of the case will be taken there.
J.S. Okutepa, SAN, appearing with Olumuyiwa Akinboro SAN for the 1st defendants, in turn objected to the application, telling the court that he in fact wanted to raise the issue of jurisdiction in the matter.
In reply, the plaintiff’s counsel, Daniel Bwala Esq told the court that arguments on jurisdiction were welcomed but that some parties were not joined and so that issue could not be brought up today.
He however prayed the court to make an order stopping the NBA from holding the NEC meeting. Daniel Bwala, Esq moved the court to grant the order having regard to the judgment in OLASUPO OJO v THE REGISTERED TRUSTEES OF THE NBA.
The court in granting the order that status quo in the terms of the declarations and orders as contained in that judgment be maintained, stated that it did not wish to “…fall into the error of making conflicting orders…”
The case has been adjourned to Tuesday, the 30th of May, 2017 for hearing of the two applications; the defendants’ application challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter and the plaintiff’s application for motion on notice restraining the defendants until the determination of the originating summons.
See a copy of the court order below…
From all indications and as far as court proceedings go, it looks like the NBA NEC meeting scheduled to hold in Lokoja in the coming week may not hold.