A Federal High Court Of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has fixed June 10th for the hearing of the suit brought by an Abuja based Urologist Dr Kenenna Obiatuegwu over the alleged violation of his rights to vote in the election slated the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) for May 25th, 2020.
This is as Counsel to the claimant Ahuruonye Johnson Esq has cautioned the NMA against taking any further step, that could violate the Civil Procedure Rules of FCT High Court or conducting an unconstitutional online election that will not involve all the medical practitioners in Nigeria including the claimant.
Dr Obiatuegwu through his counsel had on the 24th of January 2020, commenced an action against the Nigerian Medical Association on the Constitutional dispute that disenfranchised over 99.5% of medical practitioners in Nigeria from participating in the election of the national officers of the association despite fulfilling all financial obligations.
The petition with suit number IV/895/2020 comes up before Justice Belgore of Court 16 FCT High Court sitting in Apo, Abuja. The claimant through his counsel is asking for the following direction of the court and for the determination of the following questions:
#Whether Article 7(10) of the defendant’s constitution violates the provisions of Section 39(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and the claimant’s right to vote.
#Whether Article 8 of the defendant’s Constitution violates the claimant’s right to seek justice as guaranteed under Section 46(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
Amongst other reliefs, the claimant is also praying for the sum of ten million naira only as cost of this action.
“I have been informed by my client that the defendant have scheduled an ENEC meeting for 25th of May 2020 and ADM/unconstitutional online election for May 30, 2020. This is prejudial and if held will alter the course of justice and court proceedings. Secondly, the purported online election is not captured in the Constitution of the defendant. We are not contesting any online virtual meetings. It is unbelievable that a professional association like the Nigerian Medical Association with all the technological advancement will resort to an online election involving only 37 out of 80,000 members of the association. This is ridiculous.” He said.
He vowed to take proper legal steps with dire consequences if the purported sectional online election eventually holds. The FCT Civil Procedure Rules states that “Every originating process shall contain an endorsement by the Registrar that parties maintain status quo until otherwise ordered by the court”. The defendant have scheduled an online election for May 30, 2020. The Constitution of the defendant does not recognize online election in any form. The legal adviser of the defendant association have also warned against the unconstitutional online election.
“The rules of the court is clear. Conducting the election and now even in an unconstitutional online form involving 37 out of 80,000 medical practitioners is not only prejudicial but an insult to the court of law. The defendant initially tried to evade service but failed. We have documented proof that the court processess were eventually served on the defendant by the court balliff on February 21, 2020. We have also served another hearing notice for June 11, 2020 on the defendant. Whatever the defendant is currently doing will eventually amount to nothing but a mere online jamboree or exercise alien to the court of law and even the defendant’s constitution. I am also aware that the legal adviser to the defendant association have also written the defendant in clear terms against the unconstitutional online election. We have all the necessary proofs to challenge the process”. He said.