Architects get leave to file contempt proceedings against minister, others
Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Lagos, yesterday granted leave to two architects to file contempt proceedings against the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, and two others for allegedly disobeying court order.
Fashola, Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) and Registered Trustees of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (RTNIA) were last year sued by two architects, James Onyemenam and Adeleke Iwakun, over conduct of the Professional Practice Competence Examination (PPCE).
In the suit, the plaintiffs, among other reliefs, want the court to determine whether ARCON is empowered by relevant laws to continue the PPCE or any examination to register persons to practise as architects in Nigeria.
They also want a declaration that by virtue of the Architects Act Cap. A19 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, ARCON has no power to act without the direction and oversight of a duly-constituted council.
At the resumed hearing of the matter yesterday, architects with Higher National Diploma (HND) also protested within the court premises against their continuous marginalisation and professional relegation by ARCON.
Counsel to the plaintiffs, Ijomah Bonny, informed the court of alleged continuous disobedience to court order, especially the one granted on April 12, 2018.
The court on that day had ordered the respondents to show cause why a restraining order should not be granted against them.
Bonny told the court that despite the order, the respondents failed to show cause and still went ahead to conduct the PPCE. He added that ARCON also announced registration for another edition of the examination this year.
“My lord, I intend to file contempt proceedings against the respondents and I will file another motion to restrain all the respondents in order to preserve the res, which they were attempting to destroy,” he said. The respondents were not represented in court.
However, after listening to the submissions of the plaintiffs’ counsel, the judge ordered the counsel to file necessary applications regarding his submissions before the court.Further hearing has been adjourned till June 18.