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Abuja High Court refutes restraining ARCON from registering new architects

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By Kingsley Adegboye

Justice Muawiyah Baba Idris of a Federal Capital Territory, Abuja High Court, Nyanya Judicial Division, last Thursday refuted an interlocutory order purportedly claimed by some persons he had granted against Architects’ Registration Council of Nigeria ARCON, restraining it from registering new architects pending the determination of a matter before it.

Court, ARCON

The Judge, in the open court, said he never granted such order and expressed surprise where the purported order emanated from.

This happened at the resumed hearing of a suit filed by Ibrahim Kabir, Ayodeji Kolawole, Andy Imafidon, Dike Emmanuel, Opiribo West, Abimbola Ajayi and Emmanuel Ekeruche.

Others are Nicholas Musa, who sued for himself and other interested registered architects.

Also, the list of plaintiffs include Ademakinwa Olajumoke, Babjide Awonubi, Siyanbola Kukola and Emmanuel Adewunmi, who also sued for himself and other aggrieved person that sat and passed the qualifying examinations conducted by the Nigeria Institute of Architects (NIA).

They sued ARCON, NIA, Arc. (Sir) Dipo Ajayi, ARCON president and Arc. Njoku Adibe, president, NIA

Going by the order of the court, served on ARCON, Justice Idris, had issued the order following an ex parte application moved by the plaintiffs’ lawyer.

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Addressing the court last Thursday, ARCON’s lawyer, Nnabuike Edechime,, had said that, it appeared the plaintiffs misled the court in granting such order.

According to the lawyer, the said order was an attempt to hinder the ARCON from discharging its statutory functions, which include raising standards of architecture, registration of architects among others.

Responding, the Judge said: ”I never grant such order. I don’t have such order before me”, the judge insisted.

But ARCON’s lawyer, told the court of being in possession of such order and read it in the court. It was later assumed that the error must be from the court’s registry.

Moving the substantive matter, Nnabuike said the court cannot grant interlocutory injunction during vacation but an interim injunction. Besides, he said that proper parties have not been brought to the court, as both the third and fourth defendants were yet to be served.

Barrister Nnabuike said being a Federal Government agency, such matter is on exclusive legislative list of the Constitution and within exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal High Court and therefore, FCT High Court cannot hear such matter.

To them, the claimants’ suit was brought in bad faith, just to waste the precious time of the court and as a ploy to distract the first defendant from discharging its statutory duties.

He then urged the court to dismiss the suit, adding that it is vexatious, and an attempt to waste the precious time of the court.

Responding, counsel to the applicants, S.N. Mbaezike, contended that all the processes filed by ARCON were done out of time, but could not be attended to by the court.

Responding to the issue of ex parte application upon which the purported interlocutory order was granted, plaintiffs’ counsel said he never moved motion ex parte, but motion on notice. He added that the error must have been committed by the registry.

Judgement is fixed for Monday, September 2, 2019.


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