ARCON contests fresh suit on architects’ professional exams
Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has contested a suit filed against it and the Incorporated Trustees of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) by concerned architects over conduct of architects’ professional examinations.
Plaintiffs in the suit filed before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court, Abuja; include Ibrahim Kabir, Ayodeji Kolawole, Andy Imafidon, Dike Emmanuel, Opiribo West, Abimbola Ajayi, Emmanuel Ekeruche and Nicholas Musa.
Premised on 11 grounds, the suit averred that the Incorporated Trustees of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (2nd defendant) has the responsibility as provided by ARCON Act to conduct the Professional Practice Competence Examination leading to the registration of architects in Nigeria.
It also stated that architects have been conducting the said competence examination for about many decades biannually (March and September), while the statue specifically provides that ARCON (the first defendant) regulate the profession and keep the register of qualified architects.
The plaintiffs stated that the 2nd defendant in September 2016, March 2017 and September 2017 advertised for application of professional practice competence examination to eligible candidates of which the 10th -14th plaintiffs applied and sat for the said examination conducted by the 2nd defendant.
In a motion of notice filed by their lawyer, Dr. Paul Ananaba, the plaintiffs are urging the court to stop ARCON from conducting professional examinations for registration of architects in Nigeria.The list of plaintiffs who sued for himself and other interested registered architects, who sat and passed the NIA qualifying examination, but are yet to be registered by ARCON include Ademakinwa Olajumoke, Babjide Awonubi, Siyanbola Kukola and Emmanuel Adewunmi, who also sued for himself and other aggrieved persons.
In objection, ARCON filed a counter affidavit and preliminary objection, stating that the plaintiffs lacked the locus standi to institute the suit. The Council in its counter affidavit avers that the plaintiffs have no judicial rights to commence the suit in the first instance.The defendant subsequently asked the court to strike out the suit for being incompetent. At the last hearing of the case, NIA (the second respondent) was represented in court by Aba Agalanga.
However, ARCON lawyer had announced his appearance for both the first and second defendants, which caused a stir in the court until NIA counsel brought to the Court’s notice that he was representing NIA.Justice Ojukwu later adjourned hearing of all applications and motions to November 6, 2019.
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