The leadership dispute in the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) Nigeria has been taken before the Federal High Court in Abuja with some aggrieved members alleging plot to manipulate the institute’s National Council elections scheduled for October 23.

In a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1217/2021, the plaintiffs – Alban Igwe and Alex Okosun – accused the institute’s outgoing leaders of plotting to manipulate the electoral process in favour a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) – Ufom Ekong Usoro.

In the suit filed by their lawyer, Felix Onolememen, the plaintiffs queried Usoro’s qualification to contest the institute’s National President position and prayed the court to among others, nullify Usoro’s candidature in the CILT’s 2021 National Council election.

Defendants in the suit are the Incorporated Trustees of the CILT; its National President, Ibrahim Jubril; its National Executive Director, Paul Ndibe; the Chairperson, Electoral Committee, Hajia Moji Ajimoh and Usoro.

The plaintiffs, in their statement of claim, stated that they planned to contest the positions of National President and Deputy National President, but that they could be edged out if the current leaders were allowed to carry through their alleged plot to install Usoro.

They stated, in the supporting affidavit, that “the defendants are not only seeking to illegally and unconstitutionally prevent the second plaintiff (Okosun) from contesting for the office of the National Deputy President, they want to foist a candidate of their choice, being the fifth defendant (Usoro) as the National President of the association.

“Furthermore, a discrete investigation shows that the name of the fifth defendant, as No: 257 on the data base of the institution, is suspicious; the character and font used in typing her name is different from those of those inducted same year.

“With the year she is claiming to join the institution,  she cannot even be No: 257. There is more to it than meet the eyes, and plaintiffs shall call expert evidence at the trial to prove the manipulation and so many others.

“The fifth defendant having not satisfied the above requirements ought not to be cleared at all by the first to fourth defendants to contest, and the clandestine plans to foist her on the institute  is undemocratic, unwarranted, vexatious and illegal,” the plaintiffs said.

They want the court to among others declare that the acts of the fourth defendant “acting in concert with the other defendants to foist an unqualified candidate, in the person of the fifth defendant on the Institute and seeking to prevent the second plaintiff from running for the office of the National Deputy president of the institute, is undemocratic, unwarranted, unconstitutional, and illegal.”

The plaintiffs also want the court make an order “nullifying the candidature of the fifth defendant in the 2021 National Council election of the institute.”

They are equally praying the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants and their agents from running the affairs of the institute in an undemocratic manner and in a manner inconsistent with constitution and bye laws CILT (Nigeria).

The defendants are yet to file their defence in the suit filed on October 12, 2021, but a senior official at the CILT office in Abuja said he would not comment on a case in court.

The official, who prayed not to be named, assured that the affected officials would filed their defences at the appropriate time.

Source: The Nation.

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