Jubilation Trails Court Affirmation Of Amosu As Ogun NUJ Chairman - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Jubilation Trails Court Affirmation Of Amosu As Ogun NUJ Chairman


Godwin Akomah 

A burst of jubilation suffused the air of the Ogun State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Secretariat, Abeokuta, as a National Industrial Court of Nigeria sitting in Ibadan on Wednesday affirmed the election of Comrade Soji Amosu as the state Council's duly elected Chairman.

Professional colleagues, friends and associates of Soji Amosu and co - victors in the about two - year long drawn legal battle, danced and sang to victory songs as well as drum beats thumped out by a three - man band.

Jubilant Amosu and colleagues also expressed the joy of the moment with drinks, snacks and barbecued meat.

Apart from the victory of Amosu, the court in the suit marked NICN/IB/85/2019, also affirmed the election of Comrades Kunle Olayeni, Kunle Ewuoso and Abiodun Taiwo as validly elected Vice Chairman, Secretary and Assistant Secretary of the union respectively. 

The presiding judge, Justice J. D. Peters, while delivering judgement in the suit, held that the annulment of the March 29, 2019 election which brought the claimants into office was illegal and contrary to the NUJ constitution.

The judge equally  granted seven of the eight reliefs sought by the applicants and awarded a cost of N200,000 against the respondents. 

The Daily Crucible recalls that Amosu and three others had dragged the NUJ President, Comrade Chris Isiguzo, the NUJ National Secretary, Comrade Shuaib Leman, and 12 other defendants, challenging the purported decision of the union's national leadership to nullify the election of the claimants. 

The NUJ President had dissolved the leadership of the state council in line with Article 5, Paragraph 10 of the Union's constitution.

However, the claimants disagreed with Isiguzo and other respondents, stating that their election was free, fair, transparent and credible as it was supervised by the national officers of the Union.

But in his judgement on Wednesday, Justice Peters ruled that the meeting held by the National Working Committee of NUJ where the illegal annulment was done was illegal, null and void. 

"This court found merit in seven out of the eight prayers of the claimants, and I hereby ruled that the annulment of their election is null and void," the judge declared. 

He further held that the court had jurisdiction to hear and determine the case, adding that the applicants were also entitled to the reliefs sought. 

Justice Peters said, "I have read and understood all the processes filed by learned Counsel on either side. I also heard the oral arguments canvassed by both sides.

"My understanding of the simple facts of this case is that the 1st to 4th Applicants contested an election into and were duly elected into various offices of the Ogun State Chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists.

"As perhaps not unusual, there were complaints respecting the conduct and outcome of the election by some aggrieved members and contestants. Complaints were lodged to the Central Working Committee of the Union at the National level which by the Constitution of the Union had powers to act summarily within 21 days respecting such complaints.

"The Central Working Committee did not take the steps as required until after 37 clear days from the date of the election complained of. The Applicants approached the Court among others to pronounce on the constitutionality of the Central Working Committee acting outside the 21-day window accorded it under the Constitution of the Union.

"On the other hand, the Respondents/Applicants aside from raising a preliminary objection that this Court lacks competence to adjudicate on same, that proper parties are not before the Court, that the 3rd & 4th Respondents are not juristic persons also argued that the words of the Constitution of the Union sought to be construed is not amenable to the literal rule and that in any event the Applicants herein have voluntarily abandoned their rights and entitlement to the reliefs sought."


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