Court Nullifies Benue NUJ Election…..Orders Arrest of National President, Isiguzo
National Industrial Court sitting in Makurdi Division, Benue State, has directed the State Commissioner of Police, Madaki Audu to effect the arrest of the National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Chris Isiguzo, National Secretary, Leman Shuaib and the Vice president Zone D, Mr Wilson Bako over contempt of court.
Others ordered to be arrested are, chairman of the credentials committee, Chris Apiu and his secretary, James Shim, as well as, the purported elected State Executive Council members led by Bemdo Ubger.
The Court presided over by Justice I.J, Essien, however, exempted the immediate past acting chairman of the council, Kajo Martins for complying with the order of the court by staying away from the said election.
It will be recalled that a member of the union from State Information chapel, Oduen Dura had dragged the union to industrial court, Makurdi division seeking interpretation if the national secretariat of the union had the right to violate its constitution by qualifying candidates that were disqualified by the credentials committee.
The credential committee had earlier disqualified Bemdoo Ubger of Radio Benue chapel and Terna Umah of NTA chapel for falling short of 50%attendance as required by the union’s constitution.
But the National Secretariat later cleared the duo of Ugber and Umah to join other contestants; Dennis Ayom of the State Information and Vincent Nyinongu of The Prime chapel.
Following this, the industrial court restrained the national Secretariat from conducting the election scheduled for July, 3rd, 2021, but was flouted.
When the case came up, counsel to the Claimant (Orduen Dura), R.I. Wombo prayed the court to commit to prison all the respondents including Vice president Zone D. Wison Bako and all those that emerged as leaders at that election.
The Counsel also prayed the court to exempt the acting chairman, Kajo Martins from committal to prison.
In his ruling, Justice Essien, who ordered that the State Commissioner of Police, Audu Madaki to arrest the respondents and elected officials, also directed Mr Ugber to handover any property of the union in his possession to the Interim Caretaker Committee led by Steven Ijoh and should stop parading himself as leader of the union in the state.
He later adjourned the case to the 28th of July, 2021.