4th June, 2013
The battle for the soul of the Nigerian Governors Forum has shifted to the court as Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has filed a suit to stop the Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang from parading himself as the chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, (NGF).
Fashola, a member of the forum, is praying an Abuja court to declare that Jang is not competent to be called the elected chairman of the NGF.
Also joined as co-defendants in the suit are the Director-General of the NGF, Asishana Okauru; the Sole Administrator purportedly appointed by Jang, Osaro Onaiwu, and the Registered Trustees of the NGF vested with the power to administer and manage the trusts of the NGF.
In the suit filed by a former Lagos Attorney General, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) and former West African Bar Association President, Femi Falana (SAN), Fashola maintained that 35 governors participated in the election that returned Amaechi as the NGF chairman.
He prayed the court to stop Jang from parading himself “as the elected chairman of the NGF in any manner whatsoever and howsoever.”
Fashola is also praying for a declaration that the first defendant (Jang) is not competent to relocate the secretariat of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum from No. 1, Deng Xiaoping Street, Off AIT Junction, Asokoro Extension, Abuja to No. 2, Nana Close, by Ene Crescent, Off Nile Street, Maitama, Abuja or to any other place.
The plaintiff revealed that Okauru had been under pressure from Jang to handover the assets and documents of the NGF to him (Jang).
He therefore asked the court to declare that Okauru “is not competent to handover the assets and documents of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum to the first defendant, his agents, privies and servants in any manner whatsoever and howsoever.”
Apart from these, the Lagos State governor also asked the court to declare that the second defendant (Okauru) is not competent to use the name Nigeria Governors’ Forum in respect of any other organisation which does not have the 36 governors as members and/or in any other manner inconsistent with the constitution of the governors’ forum.
He is also seeking an Order of Perpetual Injunction restraining Okauru from handing over the property and documents of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum to Jang, his agents, privies and servants in any manner whatsoever and howsoever.
Fashola stated that he would rely on the NGF’s registered Constitution at the trial.
He said that the election into the post of the chairman of the NGF took place at the Rivers State Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja on Friday, May 25, 2013. Nineteen of the governors elected Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state as the new chair of the body. Jang got 16 votes.
No date has been fixed for hearing in the case.
.Reported by Daily Trust