Court Throws out Case Seeking to Stop African First Ladies Emergency Meeting
An Abuja High Court on Thursday threw out an application filed to stop Mrs. Patience Jonathan from holding an emergency meeting of African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM) in Abuja today, May 15.
The trial judge, Justice Baba-Yusuf, yesterday refused to stop the meeting because the two affidavits filed by the plaintiffs were contradictory and incompetent.
The judge said the affidavits were contrary to Section 115 (3) (4) of the Evidence Act 2011.
The court also held that the plaintiffs slept on their right since the application was not presented timeously before the court.
The court noted that the plaintiffs became aware of the facts they deposed to in their affidavits since April 23, 2015 but did not bring the application until May to stop the event which was to hold today.
The court mentioned that by the nature of the event, dignitaries must have arrived the country from all parts of the continent and by its nature, enormous resources would have been put in to organise the event.
The motion to stop the event was moved yesterday and the court delivered its ruling on the same day since the court had no choice as the event was fixed for today.
The plaintiffs, who include Nana Module Onwodi, Ekemma Ugborough Arisa, Louisa Ono Eikhomun and Deborah Oboh claimed that the said emergency meeting called by Mrs. Jonathan was called in “bad faith” as it was aimed at scuttling any chance of Aisha Buhari becoming the President of AFLPM.
Other defendants in the matter include Juliet Mene, Juliet Pearce, Sonia Adolf and Kate Duru.
The plaintiffs had filed a writ of summons for themselves and on behalf of concerned Women for Peace and Development, seeking to stop the emergency meeting called by Jonathan aimed at picking a new President of AFLPM from among the other African first ladies to succeed her.
They explained that the defendant stepped into the shoes of President of AFLPM after Turai Yar’Adua stepped down following the death of her husband, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
The plaintiffs claimed that the tenure of office of president of the mission is three years, which is expected to elapse in July 2015 and therefore any attempt for the defendant to convene a meeting to elect a new president would amount to shortchanging Mrs. Buhari who ought to get a chance by May 29, 2015 to participate and even contest the office of president in July, 2015.
They averred that “the defendant / respondent’s intention to hold an election on May 2015 is inimical to the progress and development of the country” as “not only shall we be affected as individuals but the entire nation will be affected as our position in the committee of African nation’s will be relegated”.
They further averred that”the other African nation’s who are members of the Mission have unanimously agreed that the summit and the election be held in July”
They submitted that Jonathan’s interest is “selfish and totally in bad faith” and urged the court to grant an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the defendant / Respondent from convening, hosting the said meeting for the purpose of the electing the President for the Mission or from taking any step that will prejudice or foist on the applicants and the court a fair accompli pending the hearing of the suit.
Justice Baba-Yusuf will entertain the interlocutory application today.