An alleged devious plot by some aggrieved traders of Balogun Business Association, BBA, aimed at using Lagos State Police officers, to forcefully and unlawfully sack existing market leaders and Install an illegal new leadership, has been unmasked
The move followed alleged fraudulent and deceptive misrepresentation of facts surrounding ongoing Leadership tussle in the crisis ridden market , said to have been falsely presented to the newly posted Commissioner of Police, CP Sylvester Abiodun Alabi, by some aggrieved members of BBA, seeking for police help to forcefully topple existing leadership and install or foist an illegal regime.
Foiling the attempt to foist an illegal new leadership, the legitimate government in the market through its lawyers Gerald-Martin & Co , despatched a complaint dated March 7th, 2022, captioned : BRAZEN ATTEMPT BY SOME OUTLAWS TO MISLEAD AND STAMPEDE THE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE LAGOS STATE COMMAND….INTO ENFORCING AN ILLEGAL, NULL AND VOID ELECTION OF JUNE 2021,IN CONTRAVENTION OF SUBSISTING JUDGMENTS, ORDERS AND DECISIONS OF THE FEDERAL HIGH COURT AND THE LAGOS STATE HIGH COURT.
In the said petition signed by four lawyers in the chamber, led by Martin E.G. Okpaleke Esq, the Incorporated Trustees of BBA, located at the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, Ojo, Badagry Express way ,through their incumbent Chairman of the Caretaker Committee, CTC, Chief Anselem Dunu and the Board of Trustees Chairman, Chief Anthony Obih, frowned at CP Alabi’s expressed decision to enforce the outcome of June 2021 Chief Okey Ezeibe’s opposition faction led controversial and purported ‘election ‘, held in Villa park hotel, kilometers away outside the premises of the Association, which contravened a subsisting judgments, orders and decisions of a Federal High Court and Lagos State High Court.
While drawing the attention of CP Alabi to the dangers posed by using Lagos State police officers to enforce such illegitimate ‘election’, Dunu and Obih referred the police Chief to the rulings and instructions contained in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/579/2021 , in which the Federal High court sitting in Abuja on July 23rd,2021, before the Police Force Representative and Officer in charge of Zone 2 Legal section, Mr. Paul Idenyenmin,who stood for the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Late Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIG, Joseph Egbunike and former Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG , Zone 2, Mr. Johnson Babatunde Kokomo , when the Court made it expressly clear that the Police Force should ensure that ” no party in this case resorts to self- help when this matter is still in court and you are a party “.
On the controversial consent of the Corporate Affairs commission upon which the purported ‘election’ was held, the Court opined that ” nothing can stand on that decision until the court takes a decision on it… Stay in the market and maintain law and order. Do not go after the parties because they already have issues with you
According to the court records of proceedings of July 23rd and September 27th,2021, as brought before CP Alabi’s attention by Dunu and Obih ,the court also ordered Idenyenmin to “bring to the attention of all police officers the order made in this suit on 23rd July,2021,to ensure that no action is taken which will tamper with the res in this case pending determination “.
Further notifying the police Chief of the courts ruling in Suit numbers FHC/ABJ/CS/451/2021, the petitioners said that they were granted leave to proceed against the Corporate affairs commission and applied for Judicial review of its actions against the Association, which under the law ,acts as stay suspending every of their actions during the pendency of the suit.
” … Now , it is the law that when leave is granted for judicial review ,that leave operates as stay.That stay is on until the order of this court is either set aside or modified .As at this moment there is a stay,” the court ruled.
“You made a decision and your decision has been called for a review. Until your decision is reviewed and allowed to stand or not to stand, that decision is not to be implemented … your decision is being challenged and whatever you decided cannot be implemented, ” the Judge was quoted to have ruled. Contesting Chief Ezeibe’s controversial and illegitimate ‘election’ conducted in a hotel outside the premises of the Association and affirming that the Dunu led CTC is the only authentic authority to oversee elections in the market, the petition referred to a judgment of a Lagos State High Court in suit numbers LD5458GCMW/2018,which permitted the CTC to appoint a Returning officer for the conduct of lawful BBA elections.
” The purported and illegal “election ” of June ,2021, which the commissioner of police is being dishonestly and fraudulently stampeded to enforce and install the purported “winners ” against the will of the overwhelming majority of the members of the Association was conducted in contravention and disobedience of the subsisting judgment of the Lagos State High Court in suit no LD/5458/GCMW/2018 and in contravention and disobedience of the subsisting decisions and orders of the Federal High Court in suit no. FHC/ABJ/CS/451/2021 and suit no. FHC/ABJ/CS/579/2021.”
In the light of the above clarifications, the petitioners therefore appealed to CP Alabi, in the circumstances, to adhere to the rule of law.
” In the circumstances sir , we respectfully and earnestly urge that the commissioner of police comply with, uphold and give effect to these decisions of the court and cease and desist from taking any actions in purported enforcement of the illegal “election ” or in illegal purported ” installation ” of those purportedly “elected ” in the said “election “