v  Case adjourned to May 25, 2021

The suit filed by aspirants of the 2018 Imo NUJ election asking the court to compel the caretaker committee of the union to conclude the union’s inconclusive election has been adjourned to May, 25, 2021 for hearing.

When the matter was called up last Tuesday, the petitioner, Elder Lambert Ojukwu who spoke onbehalf of other aspirants tendered document as exhibits before the court.

He told the court that the aspirants filed an application praying the court to compel the Francis Ebenugwuo led caretaker committee of Imo NUJ to conclude the union’s election which was discontinued midway during the union’s election held in 2018.

The plaintiff’s counsel, Barr. Chinyere Iwunna of the Durueke’s chambers presented the affidavit of facts on behalf of his clients and requested that they be cross examined.

When the presiding judge called on the defendant’s counsel, Barr. S.I. Emekoma to cross examine Elder Lambert Ojukwu, Amby Uneze and other aspirants, he declined, pleading that the judge grants him an extension of time on health grounds.

The judge who was not comfortable with the defence counsel’s request, granted the prayers of S.I. Emekoma and adjourned the matter to 25th May, 2021. The judge however warned that by the next sitting, he will commence hearing and will not entertain delay tactics from the defence counsel.

Recall, that aspirants who purchased nomination forms seeking to contest elective positions during the 2018 Imo NUJ election were denied of their constitutional rights to participate in the election as the Francis Ebenugwo led caretaker committee mandated by members of the union at a well attended congress to conclude the election after three aspirants emerged unopposed except for the positions of the Chairman, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Vice Chairman and Ex-officio abandoned his electoral assignment.

It was learnt that three aspirants were jostling for the chairmanship position; Mr. Chris Akaraonye who retired as a senior photographer from the Imo State Ministry of Information, Elder Lambert Ojukwu, Editor-in-Chief of the Nigeria Newspoint Newspaper and Sir Amby Uneze of the ThisDay Newspaper. 

This newspaper gathered that Akaraonye who was among the three aspirants jostling for the chairmanship position declared himself winner since the caretaker committee was unable to conclude election on grounds that his co-contestants, Lambert Ojukwu and Sir Amby Uneze who had earlier proceeded to court may be sanctioned by the Union leadership for seeking redress in court instead of allowing the matter to be resolved internally.

Meanwhile, media stakeholders and journalists in the state have condemned activities of Chris Akaraonye who parades himself as chairman of the union an act they described as dubious and illegal.