By Suleiman Shehu
The National Industrial Court, in Ibadan on Wednesday dismissed a suit against Mr Kelani Ajani, former chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) Ibadan, and three others for lacking merit.
Other defendants in the matter are the ASUP: Mr Najeemdeen Odunola and Mr Kazeem Oladepo, former Secretary and Financial Secretary of the institution respectively.
The claimants, Isiaka Salami, Oyefemi Oyetunji, Mojeed Lawal and Babatunde Dosumu, all members of ASUP, Polytechnic Ibadan branch, had sued the defendants over allegations of misconduct during the union’s elections.
Through their counsel, Niyi Ajewole, they alleged that Ajani was not eligible to contest any office in the chapter over allegation of financial irregularities.
“Not until the allegation of misappropriation of the chapter’s fund against the defendants has been was resolved,” he said.
Ajewole prayed for an order of the court to restrain ASUP and Zone C ASUP Coordinator from conducting any election into the chapter’s executive council.
He also prayed the court to direct the defendants to refund the sum of N12,143,360 being the chapter’s fund, which they alleged was yet to be accounted for.
In his argument, counsel to the defendants, Mr Femi Aborisade, told the court that the constitution of ASUP stipulated procedures to be taken internally before dragging any member to court.
Aborisade said that the claimants failed to follow due process, thus making the case premature.
He described it as one, which the court could not entertain because it lacked jurisdiction.
He cited paragraph 5 (a) of the Code of Conduct of ASUP Constitution, as highlighting steps required before a member could be dragged to court.
Aborisade told the court to uphold his preliminary objection and dismiss the suit for being an abuse of court process.
In his ruling, Justice John Peters, said there was nothing to show that the claimants followed the steps stipulated by ASUP Constitution before coming to the court.
The judge said that “The matter was premature, lacked merit and the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain it.’’
He, therefore, dismissed the suit on the grounds of being an abuse of court process. (NAN)