The last may not have been heard on the proposed amendment of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Constitution as a High Court sitting in Aba, Abia State has ordered the Claimants in a lawsuit against the amendment to serve the respondents by substituted means.

The respondents are the Incorporated Trustees of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA President Olumide Akpata, suspended General Secretary Joyce Oduah and Acting General Secretary Uche Nwadialo.

The plaintiffs are former NBA Legal Adviser, Mr. Victor Nwaugo and Mr. Onyemaechi Chukwu. The duo had in Suit No. A/207/2022 dragged the respondents to an Abia State High Court over the constitutionality of a proposed amendment of the NBA Constitution at the Annual General Meeting holding on 25th August, 2022 at Eko Atlantic City, Lagos.

In a ruling delivered last Wednesday and made available to CITY LAWYER, Justice Innocent Nwabughogu ordered “That leave be and is hereby granted to the Claimant/Applicant to serve all the Originating Processes and all other processes in this suit on the 2nd–4th Respondents by substituted means by posting them through a reputable courier service company to the office of the 2nd–4th Respondents at Nigerian Bar Association National Secretariat, Plot 1102Mohammadu Buhari way, Cadastral Zone A00, Central Business District Area, Abuja.”

The further court ordered that “Leave is also granted to serve all the Originating Processes and other processes in this suit on the 1st Respondent by method of postal service through a reputable courier service company on its Secretary or any of its Trustees or by handing same over to any of the staff of the 1st Respondent at its National Secretariat at Plot 1102Mohammadu Buhari way, Cadastral Zone A00, Central Business District Area, Abuja.”

Nwaugo told CITY LAWYER that “We sued Incorporated Trustees of NBA, Akpata, Oduah and Nwadialo following notices published on 27th and 28th July 2022 circulating proposed amendment to NBA Constitution. Through our counsel, Ukpai Ukairo Esq, we wrote Akpata & co to withdraw the proposed constitutional amendment for its infractions to Article 25(1) of NBA Constitution, 1999 Constitution, Legal practitioners Act and LPDC Rules.

“We have obtained an Order to serve by substitution. The matter is pending before a High Court of Abia state. We have not applied for an interim or interlocutory Order. We may do that if the need arises.”

The Motion Ex-parte was dated and filed on August 16, 2022 and brought pursuant to Order 7 Rule 6 and Order 39, Rule 1(1) of the Abia State High Court (Procedure) Rules. It was argued by the claimants’ counsel, Mr. C. C. Udoakundu.

The claimants are seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from permitting or allowing any motion for the amendment of the NBA Constitution to be tabled for discussion at the association’s Annual General Meeting.

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