By Abah Nnanna, Abakaliki
Barely two days to the 7th Triennal National Delegates Conference of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) billed for October 3 to 5, 2021 in Umuahia, Abia State, the National Industrial Court of Nigeria sitting in Ibadan has stopped the conference.
The court ruled on a motion ex-parte filed by Soji Amosu and Ayokunle Ewuoso, the Chairman and Secretary of Ogun State Council of NUJ respectively.
The court also restrained members of the Credentials Committee of the Union and other respondents from performing, aiding or executing any act for the purposes of conducting any election into the national offices of the NUJ pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.
The court further restrained the respondents and their agents from interfering with the offices of the applicants.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Opeloye Ogunbowale, who delivered the verdict on September 30, 2021, however, adjourned hearing into the matter to October 26, 2021.
The respondents in the suit marked NICN/IB/61/2021 include Mr Garuba Muhammed (Chairman, Credentials Committee), Mr Victor Ndukwe (Secretary, Credentials Committee), Mr Ladi Bala, Mr Isa Shuni, Mr Leke Adegbite, Mr Kenneth Ofoma, Mr Emmanuel Ogbeuwe, Mr Mohammed Ibrahim and Mr Victor Udi.
Other respondents are the NUJ, Mr Chris Isiguzo (NUJ President), Mr Shuaib Usman Leman (NUJ National Secretary), National Executive Council (NEC) of the Union, Mr Wale Oluokun and Credentials Committee.
A copy of the court ruling obtained on Thursday by our correspondent showed that the judge granted applicants’ prayers upon reading the affidavit of urgency and affidavit in support of the motion exparte deposed to by the first applicant and the exhibits attached thereto filed on September 27, 2021 at the court’s registry in Ibadan.
The applicants, through their counsel, Deji Enisenyin, had sought three prayers from the court which were granted.
“An order of interim injunction restraining the respondents jointly and severally by themselves, their agents, privies, officers or any person however described from performing, aiding and or executing any act for the purpose of conducting any election into the National offices of the 10th respondents pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice in this case.
“An Order of interim injunction restraining the Respondents jointly and severally, their privies, servants or agents from interfering with the offices of the Chairman and Secretary of the Ogun State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, presently being occupied by the Applicants as recognized by the judgment of this court delivered by Honorable Justice J.D Peters, attached as Exihibit A in the affidavit in support of this application, as it related the National Delegates Conference of the 10th Respondents coming up between the 3rd to 5th of October, 2021, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice already filed in this case.
“An order of suspension of all actions, proceedings, steps, processes relating to the National Delegates Conference of the 10th Respondents fixed to come up between the 3rd to 5th of October, 2021, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice already filed in this case.”
The court also directed that the enrolment of the order should be served on the respondents.