Commercial Law

NNPC Co-operative Society heads for Appeal Court over leadership tussle

By Olalekan Awojodu

 Abuja

The management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Staff Multipurpose Cooperative Society Abuja Wednesday, vowed to challenge in the Court of Appeal, the judgment of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court which invalidated the election of officers of the society.

Counsel to the society, Mr Ibrahim Idris told newsmen that the veracity of the judgment delivered by Justice Charles Agbaza will be tested at the Appellate Court.

According to Agbaza, the Notice of Appeal to challenge the High Court decision will be filed in the next 48 hours.

He predicated the decision to go on appeal on the grounds that the trial court ought not to have dabbled into the internal and domestic affairs of the Cooperative Society.

The counsel insisted that the issue of the Cooperative Society election to select management officers were purely domestic affairs of the members of the society and that the court lacked requisite jurisdiction to have delved into the matter.

Justice Agbaza had on Wednesday nullified the election of the Cooperative officers elected in June last year on the grounds that the constitution of the cooperative society was not followed.

A group of retired NNPC Staff led by Agada Michael Agbo and Egahson Shehu Salifu had dragged the Cooperative officers before the FCT High Court challenging the last year’s election that produced them.

The plaintiffs claimed that Section 20 of the Bye-Law of the Cooperative society was violated by adopting an online voting system as against the balloting or electronic voting stipulated by the law.

Plaintiff further challenged the election on the grounds that a Registrar who did not supervise the election performed the inauguration of the elected officials contrary to the provisions of the law.

In his judgment Justice Agbaza agreed that section 20 of the Bye-Law of the Cooperative society was circumvented by adopting online system as against the Balloting required by law.

The judge therefore nullified the election and ordered that an Electoral Committee must be put in place to conduct a fresh election within 90 days.

The court however declined to grant the N100 million compensatory damages demanded by the plaintiffs while instituting the court action.

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