A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered a stay of further proceedings in the suit centered on the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Board of Trustees (BOT)’s Membership Certificate allegedly issued by Corporate Affairs Commission as paraded by Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha and othe respondents against registered Trustees of ANLCA, Tony Nwabunike and other defendants.
In the landmark judgement on Tuesday, presiding Judge, Justice P. O. Lifu asked the two parties to enter into arbitration in accordance with Article 26 of the ANLCA construction before any further proceedings on the matter. The Judge adjourned the case indefinitely.
According to the Court documents, with suit No: FHC/L/CS/599/2020 with Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha, Chief Dennis Okafor and Prince Taiye Oyeniyi are Plaintiff/ Respondents while Registered Trustees of ANLCA, Tony Nwabunike and Chief Henry Njoku are Defendants/ Applicants. The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is joined as Defendant/ Respondent.
The document reads in part: “upon the motion on notice dated 3rd of August 2020 and filled on the 7th day of August, 2020 coming up before this Honourable court and praying for the following reliefs:
1 An order of this Honourable court staying all further proceedings in this suit Sine die pending the activation and conclusion of arbitral proceedings by the parties herein.
2 And for such further or other orders as this Honourable court may deem fit to make in the circumstance(s) of the case.
“The presiding Judge, Justice P. O. Lifu (JP) hereby ordered as follows:
1 That a stay of further proceeding in this suit is hereby ordered pending the activation and conclusion of arbitral proceedings by the parties in accordance with Article 26 of the parties ie 1st Defendant Constitution.
2 That this suit is hereby adjourned Sine die pending arbitration. Issued at Lagos , under the hand of the seal of this Honourable court this 1st day of Febuary 2022.”
Analysts say the judgement implies that Mustapha and Co have to go back to arbitration with their Association in accordance with the ANLCA’s Supreme Constitution regarding the authenticity and genuiness of the BOT registered CAC certificate which the trio has been parading as board members.
According to the analysts, the order by implication has also annulled the plaintiffs as members of ANLCA BOT members.