NBA Election 2016: Court hears suit on Thursday


A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) presided over by Justice Y. Halilu will on Thursday begin hearing on a suit filed by Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama (SAN) against the trustees and officers of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) for allegedly stealing his mandate.

The plaintiff, who claimed he won the last NBA election, is challenging the declaration of Mr Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN) as winner.

Gadzama is seeking a declaration that NBA presidential election held on July 30 and 31 under the supervision of the immediate past president Augustine Alegeh (SAN) and NBA Electoral Committee chaired by Mr. Ken Mozia (SAN) violated the NBA Constitution 2015.

After hearing interlocutory applications and preliminary objections on the matter during the vacation, Justice Ademola Adeniji returned the file to the Chief Judge for reassignment. The matter was assigned to Justice Y. Halilu sitting in Jabi.

With the defendants’s failure to file their defence, Gadzama filed a motion for judgment in default of appearance. He also prayed for accelerated hearing since time was of the essence, with the tenure of an NBA president only two years.

In a Counter Affidavit in opposition to the motion, Mr. Yunus Ustaz (SAN), leading other lawyers for the trustees, prayed the court to dismiss the motion for being frivolous and lacking in merit.

He said: “The Plaintiff filed the originating processes in the suit on August 16 and served his clients during the court’s vacation and that by the Rules of the Court, time for filing and service of pleadings does not run during the yearly vacation of the court.

“The court resumes from its yearly vacation on September 12, 2016, my clients are still within time to file their statement of defense as their 14 days to file same started counting when the court resumed from vacation.

“We filed a motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter, that the court as presently constituted is not competent to hear this matter,” Ustaz Usman said.

Other defendants in the matter have not filed any statement of defense or motion in respect of the matter.

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