NYSC Act Violation: Court invites NBA President over SPIDEL’s suit seeking Minister Musawa’s sack


A Federal High Court in Abuja has invited the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to clear the air on the lawsuit filed by the NBA Section on Public Interest and Development Law (SPIDEL) seeking removal of the Minister of Art, Culture, and Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa over purported violation of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Act.

Specifically, the NBA President is expected to give his perspective on two issues including whether or not SPIDEL got his authority to sue on behalf of the umbrella association of Nigerian lawyers and if answered in the affirmative, whether or not SPIDEL can bring a lawsuit in its name being not a registered association.

Bar & Bench Watch reports that SPIDEL had filed the case, with suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1115/2023, seeking the removal of Minister Musawa from office due to the officer’s purported violation of the NYSC Act.

Prior to the hearing of the case, the NBA had suspended the activities of NBA-SPIDEL’s leadership, citing allegations of misconduct and breach of association rules pending an investigation.

But soon after the lawsuit was filed, the NBA President, Yakubu Mikyau, SAN, had shown interest in the case.

Represented by a senior lawyer, Olusegun Jolaawo, SAN, the NBA President, submitted on March 18, 2024, on behalf of the incorporated Trustees of the NBA, that SPIDEL’s actions undermined the authority of the NBA President and violated the association’s constitution.

He further submitted that NBA-SPIDEL could not maintain the action in its current form and urged the court to dismiss the case with costs.

During hearing in the case on March 19, 2024, the court sought to determine whether SPIDEL, as an unregistered association, has the legal capacity to file such a suit.

The court consequently ordered that NBA President be formally served processes in the case to enable him share his perspective on the issue.

The invitation has provided the NBA with an opportunity to be heard, in view of the frequent mention of the association in the legal processes.

Counsel for the NYSC and the Ministry of Justice also adopted their written addresses during the proceedings, which were attended by Godspower Eroga, Esq. for the Plaintiffs; Douglas Moru, Esq. for the 1st Defendant; J. E. Okpe, Esq. with M. Augie, Esq. for the 3rd Defendant; and A. O. Rufai for the 4th Defendant.

The plaintiffs’ counsel informed the court that they had filed and served the 1st, 3rd, and 4th defendants their written addresses on the juristic capacity of the plaintiffs and whether SPIDEL is a juristic personality that can institute the action, as ordered at the last adjourned date.

Counsel for the 1st, 3rd, and 4th defendants confirmed filing their respective processes.

Expressing its desire for the NBA President to be made aware of the present suit, the court ordered that the NBA President be served with the processes and respond accordingly, considering SPIDEL’s status as a section of the NBA.

A motion for substituted service on the 2nd defendant was also moved and granted.

The case was later adjourned for further hearing.

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