From Taiwo Oluwadare, Ibadan
A Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State, has dismissed a suit filed by Pastor John Dada Obafemi, a deposed trustee of the General Executive Council, a factional mission of Christ Apostolic Church (CAC).
In her ruling on Monday, the presiding judge, Justice Joyce Abdulmalik, upheld the preliminary objections of the defendants and ruled that the General Executive Council of CAC has the powers to remove a trustee when accused of flouting laid down rules as provided by the constitution of the church.
The court also held that the removal of Pastor Obafemi on October 12, 2015, announced in Saturday Tribune and The Nation newspapers, was legal and valid.
Justice Abdulmalik further held that the financial report of the year 2015/2016, approved by the General Council of the CAC, was proper and could not amount to a nullity.
The judge gave the ruling based on an originating summons filed by Pastor Obafemi on Sections 599 and 607 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).
Pastor Obafemi added as co-plaintiff, the Incorporated Trustees of CAC and listed as defendants to the suit Pastor Abraham Akinosun, current president of the church, Pastor Emmanuel Ezekiel Mapur, the current general secretary of the church, and Pastor Johnson Foluso Omitinde, the finance director.
The trio were sued for themselves and other members of the General Executive Council of CAC via an originating summons brought pursuant to: (1) Sections 599 and 607 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, Cap C20, LFN, 2004; (2) Order 3 Rule 7 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2009 under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.
He asked the court to determine whether his purported removal as a trustee of the CAC by the defendants and other members of the general executive council of the church on October 12, 2015, as published on Page 43, of Saturday Tribune of October 17, 2015, and The Nation of October 19, 2015, without compliance with provisions of Section 599 of CAMA 2004 was proper and valid in law and whether the financial reports of the church from 2012 to 2015, purportedly approved by the defendants without his participation as a trustee of the church as required by Section 607 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, Cap C20, 2004, was proper and valid in law.
He asked the church for a declaration that his removal as a trustee of the church by the defendants and other members of the general executive council and the general council of the second plaintiff without compliance with provisions of Section 599 of CAMA 2004 was improper and a nullity in law and that he remains a trustee of the church entitled to all the privileges and rights of his office as a trustee until properly removed by full compliance with Section 599 of CAMA.
Meanwhile, the court in its ruling on Monday turned down the objection to originating summons raised by the defendants on the grounds that it was not supported by an affidavit as indicated by the law and was not valid but considered the preliminary issues raised in their defence.
The court held that Pastor Obafemi was properly removed as trustee of the church by the general executive council as the constitution of the church does not require the officers of the church to report financial matters to the Corporate Affairs Commission or seek participation of trustee/s.