Justice A. Lewis-Allagoa of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the Registered Members of Auto Spare Parts and Machinery Dealers Association, ASPMDA, and Lagos State government to maintain status quo pending the suit over its association’s election.
Justice Lewis-Allagoa who reiterated the order earlier granted on July 22, 2021, by his learned judge, Justice P. O. Lifu, directed that all parties must respect the court order, while condemning executive rascality.
The judge ordered the ASPMDA not to conduct the association’s election pending when the matters before it are fully determined.
Justice Lewis-Allagoa emphasized that the representation by the Counsel’s is an indication that parties are fully aware of pending Court proceedings.
The suit (FHC/L/CS/1548/2021) was initiated by the Applicant in reaction to the letter of 18th October, 2021 purportedly written by the State Attorney-General directing Anthony Ohagwu to take over the leadership of ASPMDA and conduct elections within 45 days.
The suit is seeking among other reliefs an Order of Court declaring the letter of 18th October, 2021 ineffective, null and void.
The office of Attorney-General was duly represented in Court by one Adebayo Haroun and the Anthony Ohagwu and ASPMDA caretaker team were represented by one Chuks Nwalugha, Esq whilst the Association was represented by one Kehinde Yekeen, Esq.
On the 18th November, 2021 when the suit came up before the court, the Lagos State Counsel and the counsel to the Anthony Ohagwu informed the Court that they have an application challenging jurisdiction of Court and said applications were served on Applicant’s counsel in Court and by the relevant rules of Court he is are entitled to react to same within the period specified hence the application for an adjournment.
In a counter reaction, Counsel to ASPMDA, Kehinde Yekeen argued that It is absurd that despite the Order of Court, the Anthony Ohagwu has made it known to members of ASPAMDA that they have the backing of the State to disregard the Order of Court and conduct elections on the 25th of November, 2021.
“It is disturbing and very difficult to believe the claim by Anthony Ohagwu that Lagos State sanctioned their unprecedented flagrant disrespect to Order of Court.
“The State Attorney-General who was well represented in Court by a senior staff of the ministry and a Minister in the Temple of Justice is expected to guide His Excellency on the need to see that the Order of Competent Court is giving effect to rather than giving a nod to an act of disobedience of court order by the alleged individuals.
“The action of the State Government cannot be excused on the basis of maintaining peace and order rather a position exhibiting Injustice and partiality within the multi billion naira plaza established by members of ASPMDA and most especially the action is a clearer picture of bringing the judiciary to odium” Kehinde argued.
Justice A. Lewis-Allagoa after oral application by the counsel to the applicant, ASPMDA, for parties to respect the integrity of court by adhering to the principle of LIS PENDE SI and arguments against such by the Counsel to Lagos State and Anthony Ohagwu, the Court granted an Order of Status quo ante Bellum pending the hearing of all applications challenging Court’sjurisdiction.
“This presupposes the fact that parties are asked to maintain their positions before the hostilities and not take further steps till 8th of December, 2021 when the suit was adjourned to” the judge said.