By Glory Abuh-Adejoh
The National Industrial Court in Abuja on Monday ordered that Emmanuel Ogbeche of the Abuja Enquirer be served originating summons by substituted means in a case brought before it against Ogbeche by Mr Donald Ugwu.
The substituted means as ordered by the court was by way of pasting the summon and hearing notice at NUJ Secretariat, Zone B, 05, E.A Ekukiinam Street, Utako District, Abuja.
The suit instituted by Ugwu of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), claimed the election of Ogbeche as the Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) FCT Council was a violation of the union’s constitution.
The suit has as first defendant the registered trustees of the NUJ and Ogbeche as the second defendant respectively.
When the matter slated for mention came up before Justice Osatohanmwen Obaseki-Osaghae, the claimant’s counsel, Mr Michael Okorie informed the court that he had an application.
The counsel submitted that the motion ex-parte which was filed on May 19 was supported by a 6-paragraph affidavit which he deposed to.
The court on its part granted the application by granting leave to the claimant to serve the originating summon and hearing notice on Ogbeche by pasting them on NUJ Secretariat at Utako, Abuja.
The court in addition held that the substituted service would be deemed as proper service being duly served on the second defendant.
The court adjourned the matter until July 25 for mention.
NAN reports that the claimant, an Assistant Editor in-Chief in NAN, is seeking amongst others, an order of the court to set aside the inauguration of Ogbeche as chairman by NUJ on Dec. 4, 2021.
He is also praying the court to declare that the second defendant was neither qualified to contest the said election, nor to become an officer of the union.
The claimant posited that he was the only duly qualified candidate for the office of chairman in the said poll, and urged the court to invoke the constitution and declare him duly elected.
The claimant is also urging the court to determine if the check-off dues of the second defendant were being deducted at source, paid, or remitted monthly by his employer, the Abuja Enquirer.
This is in line with the provisions of Article 4(1) (a) and (b) of the NUJ constitution.
Ugwu is also asking the court to determine if the second defendant not being in good financial standing was legally qualified as a candidate for chairman or any other elective position of the Union.
This is according to the provisions of Articles 4(1)(a) and (b), 2 (a) and 6(7) (a), (b) and (c) of NUJ constitution.
The claimant is also praying the court to determine whether the screening and clearance of the second defendant by the credentials committee not unlawful, unconstitutional, and void.
Ugwu is further asking the court to determine whether the constitution of the union in any of its provisions contemplated any form, way, and manner of payment of check-off dues by financial members other than the way and manner it prescribed.
He is asking the court to declare that the union violated its constitution in the Dec. 4, 2021, FCT Council election.
In addition to the declarative prayers, Ugwu is seeking the court to grant an order to nullify the purported screening and clearance of Ogbeche.
The claimant is seeking another order disqualifying Ogbeche, an order nullifying the purported election, and an order setting aside his purported inauguration as chairman of the FCT NUJ council.
He is also seeking an order of the court for a perpetual injunction restraining Ogbeche from parading himself as the chairman of the FCT Council of the NUJ.
Ugwu is further urging the court to declare him as the sole candidate qualified to contest the office of chairman, the winner, and an order directing the first defendant to immediately swear him into office as Chairman, FCT Council of NUJ. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Nick Nicholas/Uche Anunne