A Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, has nullified the election of former Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Adegboyega Dosumu as the President of Eko Club.
Consequently, the court declared a Lagos socialite, Chief Babatunde Fanimokun as the duly elected president of the club, a socio-cultural organisation formally set up about 45 years ago to protect and promote the interest of its members in all spheres of life
The trial judge, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke gave the order recently, directing the Dosunmu (second defendant) to stop parading himself as president of the club just as it made injunctive order against Eko Club (first defendant) and the Guardian Council (third defendant).
In its decision, the court directed the Guardian Council and its agents not to review or undermine the decision of the club’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) which reinstated Fanimokun as the club’s president, thereby nullifying Dosunmu’s election.
Fanimokun, a two-term president of the club from February 2017 to February 2019 at the completion of his second term and in accordance with the club’s Constitution, applied to contest for the same office for the third term, got elected by the decision of the clubs AGM, but his election was resisted and rejected by the Guardian Council made up of trustees of the club.
Dissatisfied with the decision of the council, on April 12, 2019, he approached the court asking it to resolve some fundamental questions surrounding the election of president of the club.
He asked the court to determine whether or not he had the right to seek election as president.
He also sought the court’s pronouncement on the eligibility or not of Dosumu whom he alleged did not satisfy the club’s electoral requirement of seven years mandatory membership and full payment of his annual financial subscription to participate in the election.
He further sought to know if the decision of the council could override that of a constitutionally constituted AGM of the club.
He asked the court to declare that the council lacked the competence to interview and present Dosumu as candidate for the election because of his alleged in-eligibility, having not met the criteria for the election.
He asked the court to re-instate him as the duly elected president of the club.
In his decision, Aneke reviewed the club’s criteria for a member to be eligible to vie for the post of president.
Specifically, he took notice of the provisions which affirmed that any member seeking “an elective office, except that of the president and vice president, apart from being a proven regular user, and financial member of the club must have been a registered member for at least seven (7) years immediately preceding the year of election.
The judge, therefore, ruled that the above provision with respect to eligibility for election “is clear and unambiguous. Again, a cursory look at the affidavit in support of the originating summons prove Dosunmu’s ineligibility for the post of president, the 1st Defendant has not been rebutted by the defendants.”