‘Wrongful’ Expulsion: Court Orders Substituted Service on Lagos Motor Boat Club

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A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has granted Mr Babajide Coker an order of substituted services in his suit challenging his expulsion/suspension from the membership of the Lagos Motor Boat Club.

Justice Ambrose Leweis Allagoa made the order sequel to a motion filed and argued by his counsel, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Kemi Pinheiro.

Coker, the sole plaintiff/applicant, commenced the suit, marked FHC/L/CS/578/2021, on March 16, 2021.

The 1st to 7th defendants/respondents are the Registered Trustees of Lagos Motor Boat Club, Dr Dapo Majekodunmi, Mr Babajide Balogun, Babalola Alakolaro, Ladi Ani Mumuny, Prince Frances Awogboro and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

At the commencement of proceedings on Friday, July 16, Mr Pinheiro SAN prayed the court to allow the Plaintiff have an alternative way of serving the court processes on the defendants on the ground that they were avoiding service.

But counsel to the 6th defendant Eyimofe Atake SAN, opposed this application and whilst opposing it had conducted himself in a manner which the Court considered to be unprofessiional. The Court thereafter admonished Mr. Atake SAN to desist from such conduct as there was nothing personal to him in the case

He adjourned till October 6 for the hearing of all applications.

Among others, the plaintiff is seeking a declarative relief for an order of mandatory injunction pending the determination of the Motion on Notice dated 15th June, 2021 for orders of interlocutory injunction, commanding the 1st Defendant/ Respondent to reverse the resolutions and or decisions purportedly passed at the purported Annual General Meeting of the Lagos Motor Boat Club held on the June 17, 2021 “in contempt of the court and pending processes.”

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He is praying the court to set aside all the proceedings, resolutions and or decisions purportedly passed or returns on any purported elections into the offices of the officers at the club’s purported Annual General meeting held on June 17, 2021 “which said meeting was held and resolutions passed thereat while the matter was pending in court”

The plaintiff is also seeking for orders of interlocutory injunction, restraining the 1st Defendant whether by themselves or though the Officers of the Club from giving effect to any resolutions and or decisions purportedly passed at the Club’s ‘purported Annual General Meeting “which was held on 7th of June, 2021 in contempt of this Honourable Court and the pending court processes.”

The applicant, apart from challenging his expulsion/suspension from the membership of the the Club, is also challenging his disenfranchisement by the 1st Defendant to contest elections for the position of Duty Officer of the Committee of the Club held on 5th October 2020.

He averred that by his Solicitors’ letter “duly received and acknowledged by the 1-6th defendants, the 1-6th Defendants as at June 16, 2021 had notice of the pendency of both the instant suit and the aforesaid Motion on Notice for interlocutory injunction.

“Notwithstanding the aforesaid notice, the 16th Defendants in crass contempt of this Honourable Court and pending court processes, held the said Annual General Meeting on 17 day of June 2021 whereat resolutions were passed and Returns on elections into certain offices of the officers and Committee of the Club were made.”

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