Trade Fair dispute: Lagos CP urges BBA members to respect court orders

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By Chinelo Obogo

The Commissioner of Police Lagos State, Abiodun Alabi, recently averted what would have led to a crisis at the Balogun Business Association, (BBA) International Center for Commerce (ICC) at the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, Lagos, after he insisted that the police under his watch, will respect court orders and not interfere in the leadership dispute of the association.

In 2021, there was a dispute between a former President, Okechukwu Ezeibe and the current Caretaker Committee Chairman, Anselm Dunu, over the authentic leadership of the association. The ICC is run by the BBA, which was incorporated in 1990 under the leadership of its first President, Leonard Ogbonnia and subsequently registered with the Corporate Affairs with a Board of Trustees currently led by Tony Orbih.

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The Ezeibe group was alleged to have conducted an election and insisted that those who emerged from its election were the authentic leaders of the association but the Dunu camp resisted, insisting that Dunu remains the caretaker committee chairman. The matter was taken to court and Dunu’s camp secured judgments against Ezeibe both at the Lagos High Court and the Federal High Court, Abuja.

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In court documents seen by Daily Sun with suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/579/2021, Justice I.E. Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, ordered the warring parties to maintain the status quo and refrain from any act of self-help capable of undermining the pending case which is a contest over the leadership of the market. Justice Ekwo also ordered that the police must not be deployed by both parties and that until a decision is taken by the court, the police should stay in the market and maintain law and order and not go after any of the contending parties.

In reaction to the court ruling, CP Alabi recently called a meeting of all the parties and a source who was present said the CP advised them to be guided by the pronouncements of the courts on the matter pending the final determination of the suits. He warned them of the consequences of resorting to self-help adding that since all of them had access to the court ruling, they should wait for the outcome of the pending suits.

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