A Federal High Court in Abuja has rejected a request for an interim injunction to restrain the Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Chief John Nnia Nwodo from proceeding with its elections scheduled for between this and next months.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a ruling on an ex-parte motion on Monday, held that his court could not grant the reliefs sought by the plaintiff without hearing from the defendants, against whom the orders sought were to be directed.
Justice Ekwo ordered the plaintiff – the incorporated Trustees of Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly – represented by its lawyer, Amobi Nzelu, to put the defendants on notice and adjourned till January 15, 2021 for mention.
The judge said the plaintiff was at liberty to apply to the court’s Chief Judge for the hearing of the case during vacation of the court after effecting service on the defendants.
Defendants in the suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1632/2020, are Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Chief John Nnia Nwodo, Chief Nwodo, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
Nzelu had, while moving the ex-parte motion, prayed the court for an order of interim injunction restraining the first, second defendants and their agents “from conducting any election into the various offices of the first defendant fixed for December2020/January 2021 pending the determination of the motion on notice filed in respect of this matter.”
He equally prayed the court for an order of interim injunction against the same set of defendants and their agents from doing anything in furtherance of the said election into the various offices of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
The plaintiff also sought to compel the the AGF and IGP to prevent the conduct of any election into the various offices of Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Chief Nwodo.
The plaintiff is contending the Ohanaeze is an illegal association, having not been registered by the CAC under the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).
It claimed to have been the only association in the country properly registered with the name Ohanaize Ndigbo.
The plaintiff, in a supporting affidavit “despite being an illegal association, the first defendant is still operating and collecting monies from different individuals and political exposed persons with the aim of conducting the said election.
“Being an illegal association/body, the first defendant should not be allowed to operate let alone conduct elections or doing business in Nigeria.
“Unless restrained, the first and second defendants (Ohanaeze and Chief Nwodo) will go ahead with the said election.”
Credit: The Nation