Anambra Court sacks NAPPMED chairman after 35 yrs in office

An Awka High Court in Anambra state, presided over by Justice Ike Ogu has restrained the former Chairman of Nigerian Association of Patent and Proprietary Medicine Dealers, NAPPMED, Nkpor Unit, Gilbert Obiekezie and two other members of his executive from further parading themselves as officers of NAPPMED, Nkpor Unit, forthwith.

 

Delivering a judgement in a suit filed in 2010 against Obiekezie and two others, by three aggrieved members of the association, Ekelemchi Nwokolo, Hon. Chris Okolo and Chief Vincent Onyechi, Justice Ike Ogu also awarded a sum of N100,000 against the defendants, out of the N500,000 being claimed by the plaintiffs as general damages from the defendants for over-staying their tenure in office, contrary to NAPPMED Constitution.

 

The court noted that its judgement was based on the evidences of the prosecution witnesses and the provision of Exhibit ‘D’ which is the Constitution of Anambra state Chapter of NAPPMED which is a regulatory body to all the Units under the state, including Nkpor.

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The judge however dismissed some other reliefs sought by the plaintiffs which included an injunction restraining the defendants from holding proposed congresses and other agenda, hence according to him, the dates for such proposed congresses and agenda lined up by NAPPMED while this suit lasted have been overtaken by events.

Anambra Court sacks NAPPMED chairman after 35 yrs in office
Anambra Court sacks NAPPMED chairman after 35 yrs in office

According to Justice Ike Ogu, since the first defendant, Obiekezie himself claimed during cross-examination that he was no longer the chairman of NAPPMED, he does not have anything to lose if he is restrained from further parading himself as Chairman of NAPPMED, Nkpor Unit and accordingly he is hereby ordered to stop holding himself out as such henceforth, having exceeded his two-term of four years each as provided in relevant sections of Anambra NAPPMED Constitution.

 

He recalled that the NAPPMED Constitution which is marked as Exhibit ‘D’ before the court ab-initio provided that a two-term of three years each is allowed for executive members of MAPPMED but at a stage, the Constitution was amended to increase a tenure from three to four years, thus requiring that any executive member can have a two-term of four years each, totalling eight years, as against the initial two-term of three years each, totaling six years.

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He added that from all indications, Obiekezie had exceeded his tenure so much so that he has no business to continue remaining on seat, having assumed office as Chairman since 1987 till 2010 when the plaintiffs brought this suit against him.

 

The plaintiffs, through their legal counsel, Sir Amechi Okafor had dragged the defendants to court asking that they be restrained from holding themselves out as officers of NAPPMED. The plaintiffs also asked the court to order the defendants to pay them a sum of N500,000 as damages for over-staying their tenure in office, contrary to the provision of NAPPMED Constitution.



Reacting to the judgement, the incumbent Chairman of NAPPMED, Nkpor Unit, Elder Benjamin Nnanna commended Justice Ike Ogu for his erudite judgement and described the judiciary as really the last hope of the common man.

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Elder Nnanna, therefore, advised all the parallel members of the association who are still loyal to Obiekezie to come back to the fold and join the only one and authentic NAPPMED in Nkpor Unit which is duly recognized by the Anambra state umbrella body, adding that this is the right time to sanitize the association in such a way that sit-tight syndrome and non-accountability would now become a thing of the past, under his watch.

 

He commended their members for their resilience and perseverance throughout the over 11 years of legal tussle which has now ended in favour of genuine members, adding that he is also doughing his hat for the plaintiffs for their courage in saying no to Obiekezie’s autocratic leadership by dragging him to court to seek justice.

 

 

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