Physician Asks Court to Nullify NMA”s Election

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Alex Enumah

An Abuja based Urological Surgeon, Dr. Obiatuegwu Kenenna has filed a fresh application before an Abuja High Court alleging violation of the court’s Civil Procedure Rules as amended in 2018 by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).

He is also asking the court to hold that the association was in violation of its constitution when it adopted e-voting which was to not recognized by the constitution..

Obiatuegwu had commenced an action in court against NMA alleging constitutional flaws which he said disenfranchised over 99.5 percent of medical practitioners in Nigeria from participating in the election of the national officers of the association despite fulfilling all financial obligations.

Hearing of the fresh application will come up on June 10.

According to the FCT Civil Procedure Rules, every originating process shall contain an endorsement by the Registrar that parties maintain status quo until otherwise ordered by the court.

He argued that the defendant’s constitution did not recognise any online electoral process as the proposal for online voting was quashed by the congress of the defendant at its 2017 Annual Delegate Meeting held in Calabar, Cross River State..

He is asking the court to declare that the Annual Delegates Meeting/ Elections conducted by the National Organising Committee of the Defendant/Respondent
on May 30 via virtual technology while pendency of his suit in court is illegal, void and a nullity.

He also sought an order declaring that the Annual Delegates Meeting/ Elections
conducted by the National Organising Committee of the Defendant/Respondent
conducted on May 30 via virtual technology same unknown to the constitution of the Defendant/Respondent was unconstitutional, illegal, void and a nullity.

He also asked the court to hold that the Annual Delegates Meeting/ Elections
conducted by the National Organising Committee of the Defendant/Respondent
conducted on May 30 via virtual technology amounted to
gross misconduct and disregard for the rules of court.

He asked the court to revert the parties back to status quo. His counsel Ahuruonye Johnson argued that conducting the election was not only prejudicial but daring to the court of law.

He said: “We are taking the proper lawful and legal steps to void the unconstitutional online election as well as punish all those that participated in the said unconstitutional prejudicial process.

“The rules of the court has precluded the need for interim or interlocutory injunction. We will not lose faith until justice is served to my client and by extension all medical practitioners in Nigeria.
“The defendant has also displayed gross misconduct and disregard to the court of law.”

He said the defendant also disregarded the admonitions and wise counsel of its own legal adviser.

According to him, the legal adviser of the defendant via a letter addressed to the Secretary General of the defendant association and dated 14th of April, 2020 advised against the e-voting as same was not prescribed by the constitution of the defendant.

He said: “Ironically, when the matter for the inclusion of electronic voting system involving all medical practitioners came up for consideration during the constitution review in 2017, the congress of the defendant declined and rejected the idea.”