The National Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists on Saturday stopped the planned inauguration of a factional executive of the Union in Ogun State.
The NUJ said it stopped the event based on the order of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State, which restrained it from conducting fresh election in the Ogun State Council of the union.
The Vice President B Zone, Comrade Cosmos Oni, who had led other officers to Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, to conduct the proposed election, confirmed the directive of the NUJ national leadership.
“Based on the directive of the national secretariat, the inauguration has been put on hold,” Oni said in a telephone chat.
Our correspondent further gathered that security agencies liaised with the Union’s leadership and advised that the court order must be obeyed to avert breakdown of law and order.
Justice J. D. Peters of the NIC had on Wednesday granted an order in an ex parte application brought before him in suit number NICN/IB/85/2019 restraining the NUJ President, Comrade Chris Isiguzo; the NUJ National Secretary, Comrade Shuaib Leman; and other respondents from holding any election in Ogun State pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.
The suit was filed by the Ogun State NUJ Chairman, Soji Amosu, and three other claimants, challenging the purported decision of the union’s national leadership to conduct fresh election into the offices occupied by the claimants.
The national leadership had constituted a five-member electoral committee, with Lanre Ogunyinka and Tunde Olayiwola appointed as chairman and secretary respectively, to conduct the election on Saturday.
In controversial circumstances, the electoral committee had moved to inaugurate a female journalist, Remi Olugbenro, as state chairman without any contest.
Six others were also scheduled to be sworn in as officers of the union unopposed after their opponents were curiously disqualified.
Ruling on the application brought by counsel to the applicants, Deji Enisenyin, Justice Peters ordered the respondents to refrain from conducting any election in the Ogun State council of the NUJ.
The presiding judge ruled that the applicants have right for which the intervention of the court was necessary and sought to be protected from infringement by the respondents.
He held that the claimants, who were elected on March 29, 2019, should not be interfered with by Isiguzo, Leman, Central Working Committee and National Executive Council, which were joined as first, second, third and fourth respondents respectively.
The judge adjourned the case to December 4, 2019 to hear the Motion on Notice.