An Enugu State High Court presided over by Justice Azubuike Onovo has granted an order of interim injunction restraining the Ogbete Main Market Traders Association (OMMTA), from conducting election into its executive offices.
Onovo ordered the OMMTA electoral committee or their agents, the respondents, servants and or any other from conducting the election pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.
The order followed a suit, number E/314M/2020, filed by a presidential candidate in the election, Chief Stephen Aniagu, challenging his disqualification from participating in the poll.
The respondents in the suit are the chairman of the electoral committee, Rev. Fr Nnamdi Nwankwo and nine others.
Aniagu, who was one of the two candidates disqualified from participating in the election accused the electoral committee of having a preconceived motive.
Another disqualified and aggrieved presidential candidate, Mr Oliver Ezemba, said that the screening committee had earlier cleared him to participate in the election.
Ezemba, however, said that the clearance letter issued to him by the committee was withdrawn five days later on the claim that the appeals committee quashed his clearance.
He described his disqualification as illegal and premeditated, alleging that the electoral committee was compromised.
Ezemba said that no section of the OMMTA constitution was against his participation in the election.
He aligned with the court order restraining OMMTA from going ahead with the election, adding that his insistence ought not be misconstrued as working against the interest of the state government.
When contacted, Nwankwo said that the electoral committee followed the constitutional provisions of OMMTA in screening the candidates.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the leadership of OMMTA was disbanded three years ago by the state government following a succession crisis in the association.
The traders had requested for a neutral person to conduct the elections which prompted the selection of Fr. Nwankwo, considered a friend of the traders, for the assignment.
The state government had constituted a caretaker committee to oversee the activities of the association pending the conduct of an election.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Donald Ugwu (NAN)https://nnn.ng/succession-crisis-enugu-high-court-stops-ogbete-traders-election/