Dr Olusola Adeyelu has asked a Federal High Court, Abuja to determine whether Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has the powers to impose its financial resolution on any practitioner who resigned his membership from the union.
Adeyelu, in an originating summons marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1094/2020 filed before Justice Donatus Okorowo, had sued Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and NMA as 1st and 2nd defendants respectively.
However, the matter scheduled for Wednesday could not hold due to Justice Okorowo’s inability to preside over the case.
The court then fixed Nov. 10 for hearing in the suit.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the medical practitioner had filed the case, having decided to resign his membership from the NMA on April 24, 2019.
In the affidavit in support, Adeyelu said he did not at any point in time in the course of his practice of the profession indicated interest of becoming a member of NMA.
“Upon my induction into the medical profession in 2005 and the taking of the Hippocratic Oath, I met it as the practice that although the 2nd defendant is a voluntary association, it has been operating in a manner that portrays it as a mandatory association for the medical practitioners in Nigeria.
“It is commonplace that every medical practitioner should be conscripted through the payment of annual practicing fee to the 1st defendant, which money is legislated to be subject to sharing formula of 30 to 70 per cent between the 1st defendant and the 2nd defendant,” he said.
He, therefore, sought the court’s determination on the following questions:.
“What is the true meaning, the true purport and the true intendment of the provision of Section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) “whether based on the facts and circumstances of this case, the provisions of Section 14(4) of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act Cap M8, Laws of Federation of Nigeria, 2004, by practical application and/or implication, do not rob the plaintiff of his right to freedom of association.
”Such freedom is inconsistent with Section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and to the extent of such inconsistency therefore, unconstitutional, null and void?
Adeyelu, therefore, sought “an order of perpetual injunction restraining the 2nd defendant henceforth from further imposing on the plaintiff its membership and/or its membership obligations and/or its subscription and/or its building levies or other levies, either directly or through the 1st defendant.
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the 1st defendant from further subjecting the plaintiff to the 2nd defendant’s membership and/or mandatory payment of the 2nd defendant’s association subscription and/or the 2nd defendant’s building levies or other levies before recognising or according to the plaintiff his rights and privileges as a medical practitioner in Nigeria.
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the 1st defendant from further remitting to the 2nd defendant 70% of the plaintiff’s mandatory annual practicing fees having ceased to be a member of the 2nd defendant.
“An order of mandatory injunction directing and/or mandating the 1st defendant to henceforth, within one month of the payment of the plaintiff’s annual practicing fees, remit 70 per cent of the plaintiff’s mandatory annual practising fees to the plaintiff having ceased to be a member of the 2nd defendant.”