The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has held that the tenure of Kabiru Ibrahim and his led National Working Committee and National Executive Council of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) ended almost three years ago.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo held that Mr. Ibrahim and his exco thus ceased to be in office since June 14, 2019, when their five-year tenure expired.
The judge gave the judgment on March 22 in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/322/2020 filed by The Incorporated Trustees of All Farmers Association of Nigeria.
Ibrahim and his NWC and NEC are the first defendants while the Inspector-General of Police is the second defendant.
Justice Taiwo held: “The issue is whether the 1st defendant and his exco are still in office. I have read the constitution of the plaintiff, particularly the article stating thus: ‘The tenure of all elected officers of all organs at all levels shall be a single term of five years, except a person appointed amongst a life member of the Association and the Trustees. The zonal Chairmanship shall be rotated’;
“It is not before me that the 1st defendant was appointed amongst a life member of the Association and the Trustees. Although the plaintiff puts the date of the assumption as President of the 1st defendant and his exco at June 2013 with its expiration date at June 2018, I find that the 1st defendant and his exco were inaugurated on the 15th of June, 2014.
“I refer to paragraph 2 in the affidavit in support of the originating summons and paragraphs 3c and d in the plaintiff’s further affidavit deposed to by Abdullahi Abdusalam on the 27th of August, 2021.
“It appears that there is a contradiction on the actual date of assumption into office by the 1st defendant and his exco but the averment of the plaintiff in its further affidavit tallies with the admission by the 1st defendant that he was inaugurated on the 15th of June, 2014. I refer to paragraph 13 of the affidavit deposed to by the 1st defendant himself.
“Determination of the tenure of an elected person is governed by the constitution of the organisation. The tenure of the 1st defendant is therefore governed by the Constitution of the plaintiff.
“The tenure of the 1st defendant, therefore, expired on the 14th of June, 2019. His tenure started from the date of his inauguration and ends after five years. At that point, the 1st defendant and his exco ceased to be in office.
“From the foregoing, the questions for determination are answered in favour of the plaintiff herein. I so hold.
“As regards the reliefs, I grant all the reliefs. This is the judgement of the court.”
The AFAN Incorporated Trustees had prayed the court for six reliefs, including a declaration that the 1st defendants had served their single term of five-year tenure which tenure expired in June 2018;
A perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from taking any step to meddle with the affairs of the plaintiff, or parading themselves as members of Exco and executive and an injunction restraining the 1st defendants from using the police to unlawfully harass, intimate, arrest or detain the members of the Caretaker Committee of the plaintiff.
When the matter came up for hearing on January 2, 2022, M.M Bakari for the plaintiff and A. O Okeya for the 1st defendant and Victor I. Okoye Esq for the 2nd defendant adopted their processes, adumbrated on same and urged the court to grant/refuse the reliefs in favour of the parties that they represent.