The Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos has struck out the suit instituted by Dr Godwin UyiOjo, former executive director of the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) against erstwhile chairman of the organization, Nnimmo Bassey, and the Board of Trustees of the Environmental Rights Development Foundation challenging his removal as secretary in 2015.
Dr. OjoUyi, who was removed as the executive director of ERA/FoEN by the Board on October 3, 2020, did not contest the decision of the Board relieving him as executive director, but approached the court to declare his 2015 ouster as secretary of the Board illegal.
After nearly two years of legal battle, in April 2022, at the request of the counsel to Nnimmo Bassey, the Federal High Court in Lagos had sought pleadings of both parties in the matter, but the plaintiff reportedly failed to file any process to the effect until June 9, 2022, when the case was struck out.
The presiding Judge, Justice A. Lewis-Allagoa struck out the case on the grounds that the plaintiff (Godwin Ojo) had not shown sufficient seriousness consequent upon which the case was disposed of.
The court also ordered the plaintiff (Ojo) to pay the sum of N50,000 as cost to the first defendant.
The ERA/FoEN held an Emergency Board Meeting on October 3, 2020 to discuss the report of an independent evaluation of ERA/FoEN, wherein the Board resolved that the services of Ojo were no longer required and his appointment as the executive director was terminated with effect from October 3, 2020.
The evaluation report which was adopted by the Board for full implementation concluded that Ojo, who is, “by nature of the position of executive director, ultimately responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the organization and staff management, is out of his depth, lacking both leadership and management sufficient to the task.”
The Board therefore, prohibited him from parading himself in any manner as representative of the organization or in any capacity as ERA/FoENexecutive director and took a decision to replace him with Chima Williams Esq., the current ED.
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