Leadership tussle is creating unrest within the Balogun Business Association, BBA, Trade Fair Complex along the Lagos/Badagry Expressway in Lagos, as rumors that breakaway association members will storm the market with Police.
They feared the breakaway members would appear to enforce a fictitious court decision that would impose unknown and unrecognized members as market leaders.
The unidentified market participants are reported to be led by a previous market leader who had taken the current leadership to nearly every police station and court in the nation in an effort to install his supporters as market leaders.
However, this action, which the majority of the traders saw as a violation of the Federal High Court’s ongoing orders and decisions, infuriated the market’s traders, who learned that plans had been made with the police to impose illegal officers on them, leading them to resolve to resist the attempt by any means.
The Police and the unidentified members of their organization who they believe have sworn to use the police illegally to take over their leadership are set to engage in a showdown with all the fighting groups in the market today, according to information that has already surfaced.
According to sources, the crisis that had been roiling the market association entered a new phase after the former leader in the market allegedly led a small group of association supporters to a secret location outside the market and allegedly held an election where, to the dismay of other members, unpopular and unrecognized individuals were purportedly chosen as association leaders.
The other members believed his term had come to an end, therefore holding an election away from the market would be against the association’s bylaws.
This allegedly illegitimate election was held notwithstanding the Federal High Court in Abuja’s ruling in litigation Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/451/2021, which said in July 2021 that such action should not be taken.
Sources in the market claimed that the previous leader was attempting to create discord among the market’s leaders in order to continue serving as a life trustee of the organization and maintain access to its funds in the same manner as when he was president of the association.
Additionally, it was claimed that he had previously sought the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) with the express purpose of establishing himself as the Board of Trustees’ Chairman for life.
But after the CAC swiftly and carelessly revoked the association’s Certificate of Registration, the association and its current management filed a lawsuit. The Federal High Court in Abuja intervened, stayed the Commission’s action, and upheld the association’s current management in office while the suit, FHC/ABJ/451/202, was being decided.
One of the sources claimed that the former leader turned to the Nigeria Police Force to get his way after realizing he would encounter strong resistance from the association and its current management. This prompted the association and its current management to file a new lawsuit against the Police in Suit No.FHC/ABJ/579/2021, in which Chief Ezeibe and other defendants are now parties as well.
According to reports, the legally recognized market leaders filed lawsuits at the federal High Court, and as a result, an order was issued requiring the Police to make sure that nothing is done to tamper with or interfere with the lawsuit’s subject matter. The court’s judgments are believed to be still valid as of the publication of this article.
The Chief Anselm Dunu-led legally constituted Caretaker Committee, with the support of the vast majority of association members, has been interacting with the Nigeria Police Force up until the recent developments of the rumored plans to invade the market in the early hours of the morning, according to reports, but the unidentified market participants reportedly approached the police to help them enforce the illegal election.
When reached, Chief Anselm Dunu, the current chairman of the association’s caretaker committee, told our reporters that the association and its current management, which is led by him, had repeatedly extended a hand of fellowship to the breakaway members, urging them to join forces with the rest of the association to move the association forward and conduct credible election of new officers.
The association, he said, requests that the Area Commander of Area E Command refrain from interfering with ongoing judicial proceedings at the Federal High Court, Abuja, and at the Court of Appeal, particularly the appeal at the Court of Appeal against the decision made by Justice Ogunjobi of the Lagos State High Court on May 5, 2022, and the pending motion for a stay of execution while the appeal is being decided, a stay of litigation proceedings while the appeal is being decided, and so on.
It was unsuccessful to speak with the spokesman for the Lagos State Police because he did not return calls.
However, according to police sources, the command may reevaluate the market invasion while still making sure that their personnel would be on watch to prevent any breakdown of law and order there.