A High Court in Benue State has restrained the Sarwuan Tarka Varsity Alumni Association (JOSTUMAA) from conducting elections to pick members of its national executive committee.
The court gave an order of interim injunction stopping the alumni’s elective congress pending the determination of a suit filed before it by two members of JOSTUMAA, George Njoku and Patrick Agada, seeking an interpretation of the alumni’s constitution.
The defendants in the case are national president of JOSTUMMA, Akinloye Akande and JOSTUMMA as an association.
In the matter brought before the court headed by Justice T.A. Akume, the plaintiffs are praying the court to interpret the rules and regulations governing the activities of the alumni association.
They want the court to determine whether the defendants can proceed to hold its election to select the association’s executive on May 14, 2022 while the substantive suit bordering on the tenure of members of the current executive members of the alumni is yet to elapse.
The plaintiffs who are members of the national executive committee (NEC) of the alumni are contending that it amounts to a breach of their right to remain in office pending when their tenure would expire.
After granting the order of interim injunction stopping the elective congress of the alumni association, the judge adjourned the case to Wednesday May 18, 2022 for hearing of the motion, even as he fixed hearing of substantive suit to June 1, 2022.
The plaintiffs are arguing that the election scheduled to hold today, May 14, is unconstitutional because the current NEC of the association was elected on December 18, 2018 provides that the tenure of the NEC current NEC members elapses on December 18, 2022 in line with the constitutional provisions of the law guiding the association.
They also told the court that JOSTUMMA branches across the country are yet to pay their 20 per cent remittances to the national headquarters of the association to qualify them to form a congress for election.
“Branches sending lists of delegates to the National Secretariat of the JOSTUMAA without mandatory 20% remittances of their dues stand disqualified and are not members of JOSTUMMA.
Relying on article 4(f) and article 7 (f) of the JOSTUMMA constitution, the plaintiffs are contending that delegates who have not paid their dues for a period of six months are not members of the association.
“By the combined provisions of Article 8(1) and (2) and (3), Article 4(f), Article 9(a) and (x) and Article 7(f) of the JOSTUMMA Constitution, the branches of JOSTUMMA have not met the constitutional requirement to select delegates for a congress for the purpose of voting in any JOSTUMMA election, they stated.
Noting that it is unconstitutional for a member to make payment and backdate same, the plaintiffs argued that payment of dues does not have retrospective effect.
Accordingly, they prayed the court to order the defendants to put the election of the association till December 18, 2022 when the tenure of the current NEC of JOSTUMMA would have elapsed.