The Presiding Judge, Ibadan Judicial division of the National Industrial Court, His Lordship, Hon. Justice Dele Peters has declared the 5-man purported Electoral Committee constituted by the Nigeria Union of Journalists Central Working Committee to conduct another election into the offices of Ogun State Council as illegal, null, and void.
The Court held that any Central Working Committee meeting not held within 21 days window after the state council election allowed by the Union’s Constitution is unconstitutional; restrained the NUJ executives, and the Electoral Committee by themselves, agents, servants, and privies from conducting any election into the offices presently occupied by Soji Amosu, Kunle Olayeni, Ayokunle Ewuoso, and Abiodun Taiwo as Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary and Assistant Secretary respectively.
From facts, the applicants- Soji Amosu and 3 others had averred that they were duly elected in the election held on the 29th of March, 2019 and were issued Certificates of Return, that some members protested against the election and the National Executive Council sat 37 days after the election to constitute another panel to conduct another election beyond the 21 days window as prescribed by the NUJ constitution, urged the court to grant the reliefs sought in the interest of justice.
In defence, the National body filed an objection urged the court to dismiss the case in its entirety on the grounds that the Court lacks the jurisdiction that the proper parties are not before the Court.
Respondents Counsel S.A. Bakare Esq further submitted that the members of the Electoral Committee was done pursuant to the peace Resolution signed by Soji Amosu and others and had waived their rights to institute the Suit that it will be in the interest of justice to dismiss the case.
In reply, applicant counsel Deji Eniseyin Esq with Damola Osinuga Esq and Oluwaseun Ajiboye Esq prayed the Court to dismiss the notice of preliminary objection and hear the originating summons on merit.
Delivering the judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice Dele Peters held that the presence of the Central Working Committee and National Executive Council of the Union in the suit is imperative for the final and effectual adjudication of the issues raised between the parties, dismissed the objection for lacking merit.
“Any action taken by the Central Working Committee outside the 21 days window amounts to a violent infraction of the Constitution. Such action will not stand as the Court will not hesitate to so declare it.
“Either way, the Central Working Committee had the power to act summarily within 21 days. There is no evidence that that was done. If anything at all, it is that 3rd Respondent- Central Working Committee did not act until 37 clears days contrary to the provision respecting 21 days.
“Let me state without hesitation that no peace accord can be utilized to override constitutional provisions. In the same vein, constitutional provisions as in the instant case cannot under any guise be waived.”