From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A federal high court on Monday rejected an application seeking to stop the forthcoming Ohanaeze Ndigbo election.
The Incorporated Trustees of Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly had approached the court with an ex parte application seeking to stop the election into the various offices of the group.
But Justice Iyang Ekwo in his ruling ordered the plaintiff to put the defendants on notice and adjourned the matter till January 15 next year.
The suit has Ohanaeze Ndigbo (Chief John Nwodo’s faction), Chief John Nwodo, Corporate Affairs Commission, Attorney General of the Federation and Inspector General of Police as 1st to 5th respondents, respectively.
In an ex parte application dated December 7, and filed on its behalf by Mr Amobi Nzelu, the plaintiff is praying the court for an Interim Injunction restraining the 1st and 2nd respondents ‘from conducting any election into the various offices of the 1st respondent fixed for December 2020/January 2021 pending the determination of the motion on notice filed in respect of this matter.’
The plaintiff also prayed the court for an order restraining Nwodo from doing anything in furtherance of the said election into the various offices of the 1st respondent fixed for December 2020/January 2021 pending the determination of the motion on notice and another order restraining the AGF and Police from allowing the faction led by Chief Nwodo from conducting the said Ohanaeze Ndigbo election.
In a 29 paragraph affidavit in support of the motion exparte, the plaintiff claimed that the 1st respondent ‘is an illegal association having not been registered by the CAC under the Companies and Allied Matters Act.’
In the affidavit deposed to by Mr Onuorah Onyeachonam, President-General of the Incorporated Trustees of Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly, the plaintiff argued that the 1st respondent not been a registered association should not be allowed to operate.
Nzelu argued that if not stopped, the election into the various offices of the 1st defendant will be a stamp and seal on illegality.
While stressing that the plaintiff is ready to enter into an undertaking to indemnify the respondents in damages should the orders sought, if made, be found to have been made without justification, Nzelu said that the loss the plaintiff will suffer will not be assuaged by any damages awarded.
After listening to the argument of the plaintiff, Justice Ekwo held that the reliefs sought cannot be granted without first hearing from the respondents.
He, therefore, ordered that the respondents be put on notice.
While adjourning the suit to January 15, 2021, he said the plaintiff can apply to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for the matter to be taken during vacation.