© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Lagos court halts UNILAG alumni elections set to usher in Channels TV boss as president
A High Court of the Ikeja Judicial Division, Lagos State, has on Thursday ordered registered trustees of the University of Lagos Alumni Association to suspend steps towards conducting election into offices at a complementary general meeting slated for Sunday, July 8, 2018.
The suit was brought by Abdulateef Abdulsalam, a registered member of the association, who was represented in court by Bunmi Odeniyi. The defendants included the Registered Trustees of the University Of Lagos Alumni Association, Sonny Kuku, Adebowale Thompson, and John Momoh, respectively the first, second, third and fourth defendants.
In his affidavit obtained by the ICIR, Abdulsalam revealed that Kuku, who is the association’s National President, through “an illegal body known as body of past presidents”, a “Search team”, and an “unregistered 2015 constitution”, planned to undemocratically elect Momoh as the association’s president.
He said though a Constitution Review Committee was set up in 2014 to amend the group’s 1989 constitution, it could not complete its assignment, and thus no amendments were adopted at the 2017 Annual General Meeting nor registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as required by law.
However, despite the non-conclusion of the amendment process, Kuku invoked the provisions of the unadopted document to set up an electoral committee, set up a “search team” led by him which adopted Momoh as its preferred candidate, and to conduct elections at a general meeting on May 20, which were inconclusive due to a shortage of ballot papers.
The claimant, in his originating summons, further prayed to the court to declare that the operative constitution of the association is the 1989 which is duly registered with the CAC, and that the establishment of the “search team” by the National Executive Committee in January to select a single presidential candidate is null and void.
He also sought, among other reliefs, an order restraining the defendants from giving effect to another constitution aside the original 1989 constitution, and an order “setting aside the purported result of the illegal search team recommending the 4th defendant as the selected candidate for the position of the National President”.
The court instructed the parties to “suspend and refrain from taking any steps or further steps towards holding the unconcluded Annual General Meeting or Election into offices of the University’s alumni association as being planned for 8th of July 2018” pending the suit’s determination. It also adjourned the case to September 17, 2018, for mention.
Odeniyi, who represented the claimant in court, expressed confidence that all the defendants will act in compliance with the injunction in ensuring a stay of action.