The National Industrial Court sitting in Ibadan, on Tuesday, fixed Feb.19 for the hearing of all pending applications in suit challenging the eligibility of the current Oyo State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ademola Babalola, to contest the union’s election.
Newsmen report that, two members of the union, Mr Oluwakayode Banjo and Mr Mosope Kehinde, had on Dec. 13, 2019 filed a suit seeking disqualification of Babalola who had been cleared by the national secretariat of the union to contest in the Dec. 18 poll.
Babalola, a correspondent of Fresh 107.9 based in Abeokuta, Ogun, had defeated the incumbent, Mr Adewumi Faniran of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Ibadan, with a total of 179 votes to the latter’s six votes.
Faniran, who led the union in Oyo State for the statutory three years between Dec. 18, 2016 and Dec. 18, 2019, also sought re-election.
Newsmen report that, the claimants had earlier filed a motion for a restraining order before the court asked the national and state officers of the union not to conduct the election.
The order was, however, not granted by the court on Dec. 18, 2019.
In dismissing their application, the court ordered that the status quo be maintained.
Other defendants in the suit included the NUJ National President, NUJ National Secretary as well as members of the 2019 Oyo State NUJ Credentials Committee.
At Tuesday’s proceedings, Babalola’s counsel, Mr Toyese Owoade, informed the court that he had filed a memorandum of appearance and counter affidavit to the motion for injunction in the court on Monday and prayed the court for an adjournment in order to regularise the processes before the court.
But counsel to the claimants, Mr Oluwadamilare Awokoya, opposed the application and also applied that cost be awarded against the defendants in favour of his clients on the grounds that the memorandum of appearance was filed out of time.
Justice John Peters adjourned the matter till Feb.19 for hearing of all pending applications, saying all parties in the case must be given fair-hearing.