The protracted leadership tussle that rocked Adamawa State Chapter of National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) since 2017 has finally been laid to rest by the state Upper Area Court I presided by Magistrate Mohammed Abubakar.
Shortly after its election in 2017, which saw the emergence of new leadership of the council, some key officials of the council including the former Chairman and former Secretary were confronted by series of allegations of gross misconduct, mismanagement and abuse of office.
It was against this backdrop that the former Chairman and Secretary of the council, Halilu Isa and Martin Banga Madanga were removed during an emergency management meeting of the council held on 10th February, 2020 in Yola, the state capital.
The removal of the former Chairman and Secretary respectively followed the adoption of the report of Disciplinary Committee constituted to look into the series of allegations levelled against the duo.
After adopting the report of the Committee which indicted the suspended Chairman and Secretary, the management of the council went ahead and impeached the duo as earlier recommended by the Committee on ,10th February, 2020.
According to the management, the impeachment became necessary in order to protect and promote the corporate integrity of the council in accordance with article 22.1 and 22.3 of the constitution of the council, as well as in the interest of the Adamawa Youth in general.
To fill the vacuum created following the removal of Halilu and Martin, the management further resolved and nominated the former Deputy Chairman, Ambassador Ajine Delo and Public Relations Officer (PRO 2) Ibrahim Maisaje who were on acting capacity as Chairman and Secretary to fully assume office as substantive Chairman and Secretary.
Ajine and Maisaje were earlier asked to act as Chairman and Secretary when Halilu and Martin were suspended from office when found wanting, so as to enable the committee constituted to properly investigate number of allegations preferred against them.
The management further directed that its decision of sanitising the council be communicated to the Honourable Commissioner, State Ministry of Youth and Sport Development and other relevant authorities.
Earlier, when Halilu Isa and Martin Banga Madanga and 3 others got wind of moves by the management to decide on their fate at a meeting slated for 10 February, 2020, they quickly approached Upper Area Court I, and sought for exparte order to restrain Ambassador Ajine and Maisaje from parading themselves as officials of the council in the state.
The embattled Halilu and Madanga obtained the court order and served same to Ajine and other management at 5:15pm after the meeting had been concluded around 2:00pm.
Left with no option, the impeached officials decided to fully engage Ajine’s new leadership in legal battle at the Upper Area Court I presided by Magistrate Mohammed Abubakar.
At hearing of the motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court, Counsel to the defendants/applicants, M. M. Tumba raised preliminary objection on grounds that the Honourable Court lacked jurisdiction to hear and determine the suit.
Barr. Tumba added that the objection is on the ground that the internal available administrative remedies have not been exhausted as stipulated in the constitution of NYCN, and urged the court to grant their application by striking out the suit in the interest of justice.
Besides, Barr Tumba told the court that respondents as presented on the face of the suit were not the proper parties in the suit, explaining that NYCN is a body with incorporated trustee status under part C of companies and Allied Matters Act 2014, and therefore possesses power to sue and be sued through its trustees, without aid or representation by individual persons.
Barr. Tumba informed the court that even if the plaintiffs wanted to sue by way of a representative action, they have not fulfilled some requirements of the law in relation to suing by representative action.
On his part, Counsel to the plaintiffs/respondents, J. J. Ako told the court that the application of the defendants was not proper because they had been removed and urged the court to reject it in the interest of justice.
In its ruling, the court presided by Magistrate Mohammed Abubakar struck out the matter for not been proper before the court, saying that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter.