By Anayo Okoli
A Federal High Court sitting in Enugu has granted a perpetual injunction stopping the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, from collecting dues, levies from one of its members, Dr. Awkadigwe Fredrick Ikenna.
The court also restrained the association from “continued placing of the building levy, on the online of or offline platforms of Awkadigwe and ordered the association to issue him with all such necessary receipt and annual practicing license for which the plaintiff had made payment vide the remita platform”
The court presided over by Justice I. N. Buba also the sum of N250, 000 as cost in favour of the applicant.
This followed a suit filed against the NMA, by a medical practitioner; Dr. Awkadigwe Fredrick Ikenna where he is asking for the sum of N500 million as general and exemplary damages.
Awkadigwe, sued the association for suspending him because he instituted a suit against it at the Federal High Court, Enugu Division, and National Industrial Court in 2019. The two suits, FHC/EN/CS/02/2019 and NICN/EN/26/2019 are still pending.
The applicant is also querying the association for suspending him while the two separate matters subsist.
In suits, he is challenging the use of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN, the regulatory body for all the medical doctors and dentists in Nigeria, for the collection of NMA building levy from doctors across Nigeria.
According to him, anybody who refuses to pay the levy was denied access to the renewal of the medical license in Nigeria, an action; he described as illegal and has also caused a lot of pain to doctors in Nigeria.
In the order, Justice Buba NMA “is not empowered by law in Nigeria to enforce collection of funds, fees, dues, levies and like collections as prescribed by another body or association from the applicant.
Consequently, the Judge gave an order of “perpetual injunction restraining the association and its privies from the use of its instruments whatsoever and howsoever, online or offline for the purpose of collection or enforcement of collection of funds, dues, levies or another body and association from the plaintiff”.
In the suit at the National Industrial Court, Awkadigwe is challenging the powers and authority of the NMA branches and affiliates to invade the salaries of doctors to deduct the association dues and levies without the consent of the doctors.