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There is palpable tension at the Balogun Business Association (BBA), Trade Fair Complex along Lagos/Badagry Expressway, Lagos, over alleged plans by members of a breakaway association to storm the market today with the police, to enforce a purported court order foisting unrecognised members as leaders in the market.
Daily Sun gathered that a former leader in the market is the mastermind of the plan, having earlier dragged the present leadership to the police and courts, with a view to enthroning his cronies as leaders in the market.
The move, Daily Sun further gathered, was viewed by a majority of the traders as a contravention of subsisting orders and decisions of the Federal High Court, hence, their resolve to resist any attempt to impose illegal officers on them.
Meanwhile, all the warring factions in the market are said to be poised for a showdown with the police and the unknown members of their association should they attempt to carry out their plan today at the market.
Sources said the latest crisis started after the former leader allegedly took some of his loyalists to an obscure area outside the market and conducted an election which produced unpopular and unrecognized persons as leaders of the association, to the chagrin of other members who branded the the election unconstitutional.
The election was purportedly conducted notwithstanding the Abuja Federal High Court order that the election should not hold in its decision in July last year, 2021, in a lawsuit Suit No.FHC/ABJ/CS/451/2021.
Sources in the market alleged that the former leader had embarked on such division amongst the leadership in the market with a view to perpetuate himself as a life trustee of the association as well as continue to have access to the finances of the association.
It was also alleged that he earlier approached the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to alter the Board of Trustees, with the sole aim of entrenching himself as a life Chairman of the board, but the hasty and untidy revocation of the Certificate of Registration of the association by the CAC resulted in a legal action by the association and its incumbent management culminating in an order by the Federal High Court, Abuja, which intervened, stayed the action of the Commission and sustained the incumbent management of the association in office, pending the determination of that Suit No.FHC/ABJ/451/202.
One of the sources said that when the former leader noticed that he was going to face a stiff resistance from the association and its incumbent management, he resorted to using the Nigeria Police Force to have his way, prompting the association and its incumbent management to file another lawsuit against the Police in Suit No.FHC/ABJ/579/2021 in which Chief Ezeibe and others are now also Defendants.
The legally constituted leaders of the market were said to have filed suits at the Federal High Court after which an order was given directing the police to ensure that nothing was done to tamper with or interfere in the subject matter of the suit. The decisions of the court were said to be subsisting as of the time of this report.
When contacted, Chief Anselm Dunu, the incumbent Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the association told Daily Sun that the association and its incumbent management had repeatedly extended a hand of fellowship to the breakaway members to join hands with the rest of the association to move the association forward.
Dunu appealed to the Area Commander, Area E Command, to steer clear from the ongoing judicial proceedings at the Federal High Court, Abuja, particularly the Court of Appeal ruling on the matter by Justice Ogunjobi of the Lagos State High Court on May 5, 2022 and respect the pending motion for stay of execution, pending the determination of the appeal.
Efforts to speak with the Lagos state police spokesman failed as he did not pick his calls. However, police sources said the command may reconsider the invasion of the market, but would ensure that their men are on alert, to forestall any breakdown of law and order in the market.Follow us on social media