Serious political crisis is currently brewing at the largest motor spare parts market in Africa, the Auto Spare Parts & Machinery Dealers Association (ASPMDA), inside the Lagos International trade fair complex, Badagry Expressway.
Trouble started last week Wednesday when Justice Ugochukwu Anthony Ogakwu ,of the Court of Appeal in Lagos Judicial Division, dismissed appeal filed by appellants including Registered Trustees of ASPMDA and the President of the market, Chief Daniel Oforkansi and upheld the decision of Justice Ogunjobi, J of a Lagos High Court delivered on November 28, 2018 which sacked the executives.
The respondents to the appeal were Mr Obojiofor Obinna John, James Onwugamba, Philip Ezeabasili, and Nwadimka Nathaniel.
The Lagos High Court had ruled on November 28, 2018 that the current Executive led by Mr Ofokansi, who were elected on the basis of 1986 Constitution of the association in 2016 has no business remaining in office beyond 2018 as the law upon which they were elected stipulates only for a term of two year.
Justice Ogunjobi further ruled that the administration should leave immediately and hand over powers to an interim government headed by the Chief Security Officer of the Association, who shall conduct a general election within 30 days.
Also, the High Court made it clear that candidates who won election in 2016 under a 1986 Constitution which provided for only two years of office has no business enjoying the four year tenure of office provided by 2016 Constitution as amended when it was not the same constitution upon which the election that brought them into was conducted.
The ruling noted that as at the time of the election in 2016, the 2016 Constitution as amended was not known, registered and duly recognised by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as provided by law.
Accordingly and in the conclusion of the Appeal Court ruling last Wednesday, Justice Ugochukwu Anthony Ogakwu, ruled that: “It now remains to put a wrap on this judgment. All the issues have been resolved against the Appellants. This signposts that the appeal is devoid of merit in its entirety.
“The appeal accordingly fails and it is hereby dismissed. The decision of the lower court, coram judice: Ogunjobi, J, delivered on November 28, 2018, is hereby affirmed. There shall be cost of N350,000.00 in favour of the Respondents.”
Addressing a press conference in the market after a victory rally ,weekend, one of the Respondents, Mr Obojiofor Obinna John said:“The Appeal Court ruling is a clear victory for democracy and the association has already set up the interim government as provided by the judgment led by Chief Remigius Oguatu as interim President, Romanus Oforka as Secretary, Ejike Onah as Financial Secretary, Dozie Ekekwe as Treasurer, Jonah Odimegwu as PRO, Ifeanyi Onwugamba as Provost and Chukwudi Megwa as CSO.