The suspended General Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mrs. Joyce Oduah has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to declare the emergency meeting of the NBA National Executive Committee wherein she was suspended as improperly convened, unconstitutional, illegal, null, void and of no effect whatsoever and consequently revoke the said suspension.
Mrs. Odua by an Originating Summons in suit No FHC\ABJ\CS\1426/2022 filed by her legal counsel Murtala Abdul-Rasheed, SAN of the Legaltuxedo & Associates, sought various reliefs against the National Executive Members. Also joined in the suit as Defendants, are The Incorporated Trustees of the Nigerian Bar Association and the Inspector General of Police both sued as the 1st and 12th Defendants respectively.
Also filed by Mrs. Odua is a motion exparte seeking to restrain the Defendants from taking an action based on the said resolution suspending her.
Some depositions in her affidavit read:
The tenure of the Plaintiff/Applicant elapses upon the conclusion of the Conference and the swearing-in and handing over to a new administration, which is already elected;
By virtue of the provision of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020, the absence of the Plaintiff at the Annual General Meeting of the 1st Defendant/Respondent will render the entire proceedings and decisions reached of the meeting null and void;
By virtue of the provision of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020, the report of the Annual General Meeting of the 1st Defendant is to presented to the Corporate Affairs Commission by the Plaintiff/Applicant;
The Plaintiff/Applicant is the convener and administrator of the National Executive Council meeting of the 1st Defendant in whose absence the meeting will be irregular;
The 2nd to 11th Defendant did not explore the dispute resolution mechanism put in place by the 1st Defendant’s Constitution before the alleged suspension of the Plaintiff;
The 2nd Defendant has failed woefully to put any Committee in place before which the Plaintiff may table her dispute before approaching this Court. In fact, it is the 2nd to 11th Defendants who are the Plaintiff’s accusers and judges that would be the internal dispute resolution committee, certainly, no justice will be done the Plaintiff thereat.
Recall that the NBA National Executives had on the 15 of August, 2022 convened an emergency meeting wherein a unanimous resolution was passed by the Excos suspending the General Secretary.
Her suspension followed a conflict which ensued between the GS and the President on the propriety or otherwise of issuing statutory notices in respect the proposed amendment to the constitution of the Association in the forthcoming Annual General Meeting.
With an affidavit of extreme urgency attached to the processes, it is hoped that Mrs. Odua’s application may be decided one way or the other prior to the AGM.
The matter is yet to be assigned to a judge.
Interesting times are indeed ahead.