Justice Olukayode Adeniyi of an Abuja High Court has returned the case file of the suit by the acclaimed winner of the just concluded Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Presidential election, Chief J-K Gadzama SAN, against the registered trustees of the NBA and seven others, to the Chief Judge of FCT for re-assignment.
The court had earlier listened to counsel to the plaintiff, Chief Emeka Ngige SAN and Mr S. Hon, SAN, who informed the court that the matter was adjourned till Thursday for further directives on whether the court will hear the matter. Counsel to the respondents, argued that they had not been served with the processes and were willing to receive such services in the court to enhance expeditious determination of the suit.
But Chief Ngige informed the court that all the parties in the suit had been served with the processes and that the proof of service was in the court file. The court ruled that since all the respondents were in court and were represented by counsel, there was no need to belabour the issue of service. Justice Adeniyi said “I will return this case file to the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court for assignment to another judge who will proceed with the case and I will proceed on my own vacation.” He refused to give a return date for the case, saying, “I will not impose a date on the court that will continue with this matter.”
Ngige urged the court to advice counsel to the 14th defendant Mr. Augustine Alegeh (SAN) to warn the clerks at NBA secretariat to always receive court processes on behalf of the respondents and stop molesting bailiffs and other court officials in the process of carrying out their lawful duties.
A hearing date for the matter is still being awaited. Gadzama is challenging the outcome of the NBA election as it relates to the office of the President of the association. Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, was returned as winner of the election and he has since been sworn in. Gadzama is praying the court to declare that the defendants jointly and/or severally were bound by the provisions of the Constitution of the NBA amended and adopted in August 2015 and must in all matters relating to and connected with the business and or affairs of the Association obey and give effect to the provisions thereof.
He wants the court to declare that that the 2016 NBA election as it relates to the office/position of the President held on July 30 and 31, 2016 under the supervision of the 8th to 14th defendants, which purportedly produced Mahmoud as President, was in total violation and disregard of the mandatory provisions of the NBA Constitution 2015, Election Guidelines set down for the said election fell short of established standards and international best practices, thereby making the said Election null, void and of no effect whatsoever.