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Court stops inauguration of ISTDAL officers

By Gbenga Akinfenwa
22 January 2023   |   3:21 am
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, presided over by Justice Yellim Bogoro has stopped the inauguration/swearing in of the purportedly elected officers of Imo State Towns Development Association, Lagos (ISTDAL) pending the determination of the substantive suit.

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, presided over by Justice Yellim Bogoro has stopped the inauguration/swearing in of the purportedly elected officers of Imo State Towns Development Association, Lagos (ISTDAL) pending the determination of the substantive suit.
 
ISTDAL is the apex socio-cultural organisation and umbrella body of all Imo indigenes across all the autonomous town unions’ communities of Imo State resident in Lagos.

It was established in 1986 to promote and preserve cultural values of the state and Nigeria at large, championing good governance, unity and a speedy development of the state. It is also to help in ensuring peaceful coexistence and intercommunion relationship among member town unions.
 
The court order stopping the inauguration of the said elected officers scheduled to hold today was sequel to an ex-parte application filed by the applicants.
 
The election in which Chief Christian Ekeocha and 13 others are claiming to have been re-elected on September 25 and October 22, 2022 respectively, is being contested by Chinedu Dike Esq, Norbert Ogonnaya Esq. and Robert Amadi as applicants, while the said re- elected president Christian Ekeocha (5th respondent) and 13 others are respondents in the suit No: FHC/L/ CS/2530/2022.

After hearing the motion moved and argued by the applicants, the judge granted the prayers as moved.
In making the order, Justice Bogoro said,
It Is Hereby Ordered As Follows:

“1. That an Order of Interim injunction is made restraining the Respondents whether by themselves, their servants, Agents or Privies or affiliates whatsoever connected or related to them from taking any step or steps to Administer an oath of office or swear in, or inaugurate or recognize the 5th -18th Respondents as the newly elected officers of ISTDAL on Sunday 22nd day of January 2023, or any date 5th -18th Respondents may invite any other person(s) to perform the aforesaid inauguration anywhere in Lagos State therewith pending the determination of the Motion on Notice.

“2. That an Order of Interim Injunction is made restraining the 5th -18th Respondents from parading themselves or performing the functions as officers or Acting or doing anything in that capacity as the duly elected officers of Imo State Town Development Association (ISTDAL) based on the purported election conducted on the 25th September and 22nd October 2022 forthwith.

“3. That an Order of Interim Injunction is made restraining the 5th -18th Respondents by themselves or servant(s) or privies from attacking, harassing, insulting, and doing anything whatsoever to hurt the Applicants.

“4. That this suit is hereby adjourned to 29th day of March 2023 for proof of service.
ISSUED AT LAGOS under the Seal of the Court and the Hand of the Presiding Judge this 18th day of January, 2023.
The applicants had in their Motion Ex-parte dated 15th day of December, 2022 and filed on the 29th day of December, 2022 prayed for the following.

AN ORDER of interim injunction restraining the Respondents whether by themselves, their servants, agents or privies or affiliates whatsoever connected or related to them from taking any step or steps to Administer an oath of office or swear in, or inaugurate or recognize the 5th to 18th Respondents as the newly elected officer of ISTDAL on Sunday 22nd day of
January 2023 or any date 5th to 18th Respondent may invite any other person(s) to perform the aforesaid inauguration anywhere in Lagos state therewith pending the determination of the Motion on Notice.

AN ORDER of interim injunction restraining the 5th -18th Respondents
from parading themselves or performing the functions as officers or Acting or doing anything in that capacity as the duly elected officers of Imo State Town Development Association (ISTDAL) based on the purported election conducted on the 25th September and 22nd October 2022 Forthwith.

AN ORDER of interim injunction
restraining the 3rd -18th Respondents by themselves or servant (s) or privies from attacking, harassing, insulting, and doing anything whatsoever to hurt the Applicants.

AN ORDER of interim injunction directing the 2nd Respondent by himself or through his staff Agents or whosoever from honouring invitation from the Respondents, to participate or Administering Oath of office or inauguration of 5th -18th Respondents pending the determination of the substantive suit.

AND for such further Order or Orders as the Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstance.

With this development, the scheduled inauguration of Chief Christian Ekeocha and his officers will no longer hold on Sunday January 22 until the disposal of the suit.