Paschal Emeka, Abuja

The legal battle challenging the suspension of Mrs. Joyce Oduah as the Secretary-General of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has shifted to the Court of Appeal in Abuja.

The Incorporated Trustees of the NBA and the immediate past President of the Bar, Olumide Akpata have filed a notice of appeal against the decision of a Federal High Court in Abuja which on August 23 nullified the ratification of suspension of Oduah as the Secretary-General of the Bar.

A notice of appeal filed at the Court of Appeal on August 25 is challenging the order of Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed voided and set aside ratification of the suspension of Oduah ‘during the pendency of her suit against the suspension itself.’

Besides, nine members of the NBA National Executive Committee, who are 3rd to 11th defendants in the high court suit, have also filed a separate notice of appeal contesting the legality of reversal of ratification of suspension of the Bar Secretary-General.

Their grouse in the notice of appeal filed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Yekini Kadiri is that the Federal High Court’s order was in error because they were never served with any processes in respect of the case before the order was made against them.

At Wednesday’s proceedings, the Senior Advocate informed Justice Mohammed that he had in addition to notice of appeal, filed two separate motions on notice and served them on the plaintiff.

One of the motions, he said, is praying for stay of execution of the Federal High Court order made on August 23 on ground of jurisdiction, while the second motion prays for stay of further proceedings pending the determination of the appeal at the Court of Appeal.

Kadiri SAN urged the court to allow him move the two motions.

Joyce Oduah through her counsel, Mr. Olalekan Tade vehemently opposed the request on the ground that the business of the day was for the court to hear and determine a motion seeking interlocutory injunction against the defendants in the suit.

Justice Mohammed has, however, fixed September 15 to entertain all the motions. Joyce Oduah had sued the NBA and 11 others challenging the legality of her suspension as NBA Secretary-General.


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