NUJ poll: Falana threatens court action
Foremost Nigerian activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Femi Falana, has warned the Nigeria Union of Journalist to desist from foisting illegal processes on the union to conduct elections into the elective seats at the Lagos State Council of the body.
The renowned lawyer vowed to sue the NUJ according to a petition dated November 3, 2020 addressed to the National President of the NUJ, Chief Chris Isiguzo, if the council poll, slated for November 5, 2020, is conducted with the exclusion of about 3,000 journalists on the basis of illegal verification carried out by the national officers of the of the body and the electoral committee.
Falana condemned the attempt to disenfranchise valid and bonafide members of the union in several chapels from exercising their franchise during the poll.
According to the letter, titled: “Request to halt the planned exclusion of 3000 members of Lagos Council of the NUJ from participating in the forthcoming election of NUJ,” he stated: “Our clients have confirmed that the electoral committee plans to exclude not less than 3000 members of the Lagos State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists from drawn from The Guardian, Business Plus Magazine, The Nation Newspapers, Local Government Chapel, FRCN, Voice of Nigeria (VON), Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and the New Telegraph Newspapers from participating in the forthcoming election of the Lagos NUJ scheduled to hold on November 5, 2020.
“The purported exclusion is said to have been based on the illegal verification conducted by the electoral committee of the NUJ in the utter breach of Article 6.7 (1) of the NUJ Constitution which stipulates that all benefide members in good financial standing are eminently qualified to exercise their franchise.
“Since the Election Committee lacks the power to conduct any physical verification for members who have satisfied the requirement outlined in Article 3 (2) of the NUJ constitution for voting, you will agree with us that there is no legal justification for the planned exclusion of the 3000 members of the Lagos State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists from participating in the forthcoming election.
“In view of the foregoing we are compelled to request you use your good offices to prevail on the Election Committee from violating our clients right to participate in the election of the national officers of the Nigerian Union of Journalists.
“Take notice that if you fail to accede to the request of our clients, the outcome of the illegal election will be challenged on the basis of exclusion of the 3000 qualified voters who are members of the Lagos State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists” he threatens.”