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LEADERSHIP TUSSLE: Dutse Branch Faction Asks Court to Quash NBA Fact-Finding Committee Report

LEADERSHIP TUSSLE: Dutse Branch Faction Asks Court to Quash NBA Fact-Finding Committee Report   

The leadership crisis dogging the Dutse branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has shifted back to the courtroom, as one of the factions that felt aggrieved by the report of the fact-finding committee of the national body applied for the quashing of the report and its recommendations.

Applicants in SUIT NO. JDU/29/2020; Garba ABUBAKAR, Aishatu Suleman Jahun, Hussaini Abdullahi, Garba Hamza Umaru and Yahaya Abdullahi, are seeking for the following court orders:

  1. AN ORDER of Interlocutory Mandatory Injunction setting aside/reversing the appointment of the 8th Defendant/Respondent as NBA Dutse Branch Chairman based on the “Report of the Five-Man Fact-Finding Committee in Respect of the NBA Dutse Branch Crisis” conveyed by a letter dated 1st October 2021 issued to the 8th Defendant/Respondent and signed by the 3rd Defendant (which appointment is subject matter of this suit) pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
  1. AN ORDER of Interlocutory Injunction restraining the Defendants/Respondents, their agents, privies, or representatives from giving effect or taking any further step(s) in respect of the Resolutions and Appointments made pursuant to the “Report of the Five-Man Fact-Finding Committee in Respect of the NBA Dutse Branch Crisis” made during the pendency of this case pending hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
  1. ANY FURTHER ORDER as this court may deem fit to make in the circumstances.

The application was dated 14th day of October, 2021

The first applicant in a 21-paragrah affidavit averred at paragraphs 15-18 that:

“That I know that this suit is on the dispute over the election and appointments of the Chairman and other Executive positions or offices of NBA Dutse Branch.

“That the entire suit as contained in the pleadings seeks to determine the legality or otherwise of my election, tenure, swearing, handing over of the branch affairs, appointment of caretaker committee, subsequent election as well as grant of perpetual injunction against either of the two rival claimants to the office of the Chairman and other Executive offices and position of the NBA Dutse Branch.

“That the Report contains Resolution appointing the 8th Defendant and some other Defendants Chairman and Executive respectively (NBA Dutse Branch), while this suit is about the election/appointment of the 8th Respondent and other Respondents (in this suit) in the Executive positions of the said NBA Dutse Branch is still pending and has not been resolved by this Hon. Court up till now.

“That if the Respondents are not restrained, they will continue to interfere with the subject matter of this suit and it will affect the affairs of legal practitioners in Jigawa State and may cause confusion and crisis in the NBA Dutse Branch.”

Counsel to the applicants, Dr Nasiru Adamu Aliyu, SAN, in his written address, told the court that  “one of the instances of an application for an interlocutory

mandatory injunction is that, where the defendant during pendency of a suit attempted to steal a march on the plaintiff by pushing to complete the act, mandatory injunction would be given to restore the plaintiff to the position he would have been prior to the defendant’s act.

“In this situation, all the applicants need to show is to demonstrate that the respondent is aware of the pendency of the suit between the applicants and the respondents before going ahead to perform the act.

“Once it could be ascertained that at the time the respondent resorted to self-help and granted to himself some of the reliefs sought to be granted by the regular court or touching some of the live issues sought to be determined before the court, the court can rightly intervene by invoking its disciplinary jurisdiction to restore the parties to their original positions as if the act of self-help had never occurred. Mandatory injunction will be granted on an interlocutory application.

“This position is clearly established and applied by the court of appeal in the case of ADELEYE & ORS. VS THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF OGUN STATE (2012) LPELR -9584 (CA) where the court succinctly provides the guiding principles governing the grant of a mandatory injunction in the following terms:

“’A mandatory injunction can be granted on interlocutory application as well as at the hearing, but in the absence of special circumstances, it will not normally be granted. However, if the case is clear and one which the court thinks ought to be decided at once or if the act done is a simple and summary one which can be easily remedied, or if the defendant attempts to steal a match on the plaintiff such as where on receipt of notice that an injunction is about to applied for, the defendant hurries on the work in respect of which complaint is made so that when he receives notice of an interim injunction it is completed, a mandatory injunction will be granted on an interlocutory application.”

The counsel also said in his written address that:

“At this stage, we are not asking the court to make a determination of who is actually the legal owner of the mantle of the leadership. What we are asking the court to do is ask the respondents to stop the infraction, and listen to our case. If they are allowed to continue the interference or taking further step, the res will be destroyed.

“We submit that the Applicants are not guilty of delay in bringing this application. The encroachment started this month, and this is the right time to halt the illegality initiated by the respondents. Also, since the applicants are seeking the court’s equitable remedies, we submit that they have come with clean hands. This is because from the facts as presented, they are not guilty of any reprehensible action.”

 

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