Ogun community leaders take supremacy battle to court

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In Nigeria
Aug 2nd, 2014
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THERE is no end in sight to the battle for supremacy among community development associations in Ejigun-Agbede community under the Ado- Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State as chieftains of the associations have taken their fight to an Ota High Court. The suit was filed by Ogunshola Abiodun, Ishola Dauda and Taiye Badru on behalf of the Ejigun-Agbede Community Development Association against Ifeoluwa, Toluwalase, Irewole, Anuoluwapo, Ikeoluwa, Ejigun-Ilo and Itele-Awori Community Development Associations (CDAs). The defendants who are chieftains of the aforementioned CDAs are Olayinka Ezekiel; Michael Adeniyi; Lawal Bashiru; Olufemi Olushipe; Sheik Awayewasere; Babashola Adeyemi; Prince Olatunji; Lola Alayande ; Yemi Olu and Rashidi Osho. The claimants, among others, averred that the defendants have been disrupting its activities and truncating the peace hitherto enjoyed by the community. An affidavit sworn to by Abiodun, on behalf of the claimants, reads in part: “When the election to the central executive council held, the defendants ,most especially the 1st defendant herein led thugs to disrupt the free and fair conduct of the election. Since the outcome of the election wherein I was elected, the central chairman has not favoured the 1st defendants who also vied for that position; he has been doing everything to truncate the peace hitherto enjoyed by the community. One of such instances is the disruption of the inauguration of new executives at the central meeting and further disruption of the meeting held on October 9, 2010. “Subsequent to the disciplinary measure meted out to the 1st defendant, the 1st- 7th defendants being zonal chairmen of zones under Ejigun-Agbede CDA decided to secede from Ejigun-Agbede CDA to form their own community development associations. Having formed these new CDAs, they decided they attempted to co-opt some members of their various zones into becoming members of the new CDAs by informing them that Ejigun-Agbede CDA no longer exist as it has been dissolved. While some of the members in these zones decided to identify with the newly formed CDAs, others refused to join these newly formed CDAs and decided to remain with Ejigun-Agbede CDA and did not go down well with the defendants.Owing to this, the 1st-7th defendants resorted to threatening and harassing members that refused to go with them claiming that Ogun State government did not recognize Ejigun-Agbede CDA due to its incorporation at the Corporate Affairs Commission(CAC).When they saw that people were not falling for their cheap lies and could not substantiate their claim, they resorted to thuggery and violence, disrupting meetings and activities of the Ejigun Agbede CDA.” The claimants, therefore, sought an order restraining the defendants, their privies and agents from disturbing its peaceful assembly/association or interfering with the use of public /social amenities by its members. Saturday Nation had reported a few weeks ago the revocation of Ejigun- Agbede CDA by the Ogun State government over alleged gross misconduct of some of its leaders. In a counter- affidavit deposed by the 2nd defendant, Michael Adeniyi, on behalf of six others, he said: “Community Development Association (CDA) is a creation of the Ogun State government to reach out to the grassroots for the development of each community as an integral part of the larger society to engender and foster development in its community and maintain peaceful co-existence among the people of the community as enshrined in the constitution of the Ogun State Community Development Association. In order to attain the set goal, the state government established a ministry for the purpose of taking care of the community development and the ministry is named ministry headed by a commissioner. The ministry is saddled with the registration of community development associations in Ogun State and issuance of a certificate of registration to CDAs. Upon registration by the ministry and issuance of certificate, the ministry would direct the local government of the community to also issue a certificate of registration to the CDA. “Ejigun Agbede CDA was the only CDA under Itele-Awori Area Community Development Committee up till year 2000.Sometimes around 2010, the ministry directed that all CDAs executive members should be dissolved and that those with larger population should be divided into more CDAs for administrative convenience. After wider consultation and agreement of all community leaders, six CDAs were created from Ejigun-Agbede CDA by the Itele-Awori Area Community Development Committee. The six CDAs are: Ifeoulwa;Toluwase; Irewolede; Ejigun-Ilo;Anu Oluwapo and Ike Oluwa; all from Ejigun Agbede CDA as it then was…the six CDAs were duly registered and issued a certificate of registration by the ministry, while the Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area also issued a certificate of registration to the six CDAs.Each of the six CDAs has its geographical boundary which was ratified by the (Ado-Odo/Ota)local government and the (Ogun)state.However, in the ‘wisdom’ of Mr.Sunday Arowomole,the pioneer chairman of Ejigun Agbede CDA and Mr.Abiodun Ogunshola, the 2nd claimant in this suit, the entire town(Ejigun Agbede) should be under one simple CDA chairman which is alien to Ogun State CDA constitution.The Chairman of Ado- Odo/Ota LGA and Itele-Awori CDC had at various times resolved this matter amicably but Mr. Sunday Arowomole and the 2nd claimant rubbished their peace move as they perceives themselves as harbinger of development in Ejigun community. “When all efforts at peaceful resolution of the impasse between the community on the one side and the claimants on the other side reached a crescendo the Itele- Awori CDC, the umbrella body of all CDAs in Itele area caused a clarion call letter dated June 19, 2014 to be forwarded to Governor Ibikunle Amosun on the atrocities being perpetrated by the claimants. His Excellency(Gov Amosun), through the ministry replied by a letter dated July 1, 2014, withdrawing the certificate of registration( No 1002786), issued by the ministry to the claimants.” The respondents, therefore, asked the court to dismiss the prayers of the claimants on the grounds that it was frivolous, vexatious, abuse of court process and action aimed at embarrassing them.


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