The founding Editor of Courtroom mail, Anthony Atata has congratulated John Austin Unachukwu, the former Chairman of Lawyers in the Media section of the Nigerian Bar Association on his victory at the Federal High court in his case against the Nigerian Bar Association over his disqualification to contest as the Publicity Secretary of Africa’s Biggest bar.He described his courage in fighting for his right as commendable and in line with the character of a lawyer.
A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory ( FCT, ) presided over by Justice Y. Halilu sitting in Jabi, declared Mr. Johnn Unachukwu (John Austin) the substantive national Publicity of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA)
Giving Judgment in a suit filed by Unachukwu challenging his disqualification in the last NBA elections, the trial judge declared as illegal Unachukwu’s disqualification and thereafter declared him a sole candidate foe the post of Publicity Secretary, and subsequently, winner of the election.
Mr. Unachukwu was unlawfully disqualified from contesting election into the office during the associations general election held in July 2016 after he had campaigned and emerged the only candidate for the office. He was disqualified by the then Ken Mozia (SAN) led NBA Electoral Committee on the ground he is an editor in a national daily and not in active law practice as envisaged by NBA constitution and he went to court to seek redress.
In its judgment, the court held that: “It has jurisdiction to hear and determine the suit before it because the Dispute Resolution Committee had not been constituted at the time the cause of action arose so the Plaintiff could not have complied with Section 16 of the NBA Constitution, 2015.
“The decision of the 3rd -7th Defendants disqualifying the Plaintiff from contesting the NBA election as National Publicity Secretary was nullified because it was done without affording the Plaintiff an opportunity to be heard.
“The Court also declared the Plaintiff as the sole candidate for the office of National Publicity Secretary of the NBA in the 2016 General Elections and consequently declared the Plaintiff as the duly elected National Publicity Secretary of the NBA though the Court observed that the position of National Publicity Secretary was filled during the pendency of the suit, parties were absent in court.