By Elohor Igbru
Godwin Ojo, former Executive Director of the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, (ERA/FoEN) has lost his battle to reclaim his position as the Secretary of the Board as a Federal High Court in Lagos struck out his suit.
Ojo had instituted a suit against Nnimmo Bassey, former chair of the organisation, and the board of trustees of the organisation challenging his removal as secretary of the board in 2015.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Margaret Okorodudu-Fubara, chair of the board of trustees, said the case was struck out on the grounds that Ojo did not show “sufficient seriousness.”
Okorodudu-Fubara added that Ojo did not contest his removal as executive director, but instead approached the court on the grounds that his removal as secretary of the board was illegal.
After nearly two years of legal back and forth, in April 2022, at the request of the Counsel to Nnimmo Bassey, the Federal High Court Lagos had sought pleadings of both parties in the matter, but the plaintiff failed to file any process to the effect until June 9, 2022, when the case was struck out,” the statement reads.
“Presiding Judge, Honorable Justice A. Lewis-Allagoa struck out the case on the grounds that the Plaintiff (Godwin Ojo) has not shown sufficient seriousness consequent upon which the case was deposed of. Ojo will also pay the sum of N50,000 (fifty thousand naira only) as cost awarded in favour of the first defendant.
“It will be recalled that at its Emergency Board Meeting held on October 3, 2020, to discuss the report of an independent Evaluation of ERA/FoEN, the Board resolved that the services of Ojo were no longer required and his appointment as the Executive Director 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 subsequently prohibited him from parading himself in any manner as representative of the organisation or in any capacity as ERA/FoEN Executive Director and took a decision to replace him with Barrister Chima Williams, the current Executive Director.”
Meanwhile the Board has issued a disclaimer against Ojo asking him to stop parading himself as the Executive Director of ERA/FoEN.
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