An Abia state high court in Umuahia, the state capital yesterday ended the four years legal suit instituted by three members of the State Correspondents Chapel ( Chapel ) of the state Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists ( NUJ ) who filed a suit on behalf of a group of Chapel members on the platform of ‘Concerned Members of the Correspondents’ Chapel’.
The state three Plaintiffs were Mr Anayo Okoli of Vanguard Newspaper, Mr Obinna Ibe, then of Insider magazine and George Opara of National Mirror.
They had in their suit No HU/97/2012 which had the then newly constituted leaders/executives of the state Correspondents Chapel namely Mr Emmanuel Ugwu ( Chairman), Mr Emeka Okafor ( Secretary ), Miss Henrietta Ashikodi , Mr Generus Ezeru, Mr Steve Oko as Defendants , including the former state NUJ Council Chairman Comrade Hyacinth Okoli who they joined in the Suit, sought to nullify the election of the Emmanuel Ugwu led then elected Correspondents Chapel Executive.
Their ground of suit was that the disqualification of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Reporter, Mr Emmanuel Acha to vie for the Chapel Chairmanship was not in order hence not acceptable to them. They consequently urged the court to nullify the election and order the inclusion of the stated.disqualified Acha to contest in a repeat election.
However , after about four years of the suit pending in court, the Plaintiffs filed notice of intent to discontinue the Suit in which the many times State Information Commissioner, Activist and constitutional lawyer Dr Anthony Agbazuere appeared for the Defendants in the court presided over by Mr Justice A.I. Nwabughiogu who struct out the suit.
Justice Nwabughiogu however, did not grant the application by Agbazuere for award of costs against the Plaintiffs.
Barrister Agbazuere also informed the court at that yesterday sitting that he had filed a notice of preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter on the ground that the Plaintiffs/Claimants had no locus standi to institute the action.
As stated by Agbazuere, the Plaintiffs who had Mr I.U Mba as their Lawyer, obviously must have realized the weakness of their case and resolved to withdraw the suit. The Court noted that the parties who were of same NUJ family, had agreed to discontinue the suit.
Commenting on the development, the State NUJ Council Chairman Comrade John Emejor expressed election that the parties resolved to end the suit to reunite and make progress as members of one NUJ family and congratulated both parties and the court that accepted the plea to discontinue the suit.