SWAN/NUJ Faceoff Splits Kaduna Council

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*respondents dare court, fail to show up, harras bailiff

By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna

The crisis resulting from some executives of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Kaduna State Council’s quest of creating a faction of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) is degenerating, with several journalists in the state who criticise the illegality, been removed from the council’s WhatsApp group.

It was reliably gathered that just on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, two members of the state council were removed from the platform by the Secretary, John Femi Adi, who was not comfortable because they shared a statement issued by the National Secretariat of SWAN dissociating itself from a purported election of Kaduna NUJ SWAN executives, early Tuesday behind closed doors at the NUJ Secretariat in Kaduna.

The purported election was arranged, and a lawyer hired to swear in the “new” executives, in spite of a restraining order from a court within the jurisdiction.

Sources from the NUJ membership of the state were unhappy about the illegality and voiced out, a move that prompted the action by the Secretary.

Meanwhile, when the Bailiff from the court visited the NUJ Secretariat on Tuesday to serve them the summons, they were said to have rejected it and were immediately served through substituted means by pasting it on the wall at the secretariat.

SWAN Board of Trustees got a wind of the planned election and approached a court with seven prayers, out of which five were granted and Motion on Notice addressed to the respondents; from the Court Holden in Barnawa, in which Zango H. Jacob, Abdulwaheed Okayinka Adubi and the NUJ, were summoned.

The court also restrained them from any subject matter that refers to the activities of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria.

This followed a motion filed by Barrister Dan Paul Fredericks in respect of SWAN Board of Trustees on January 9, 2020.

After pictures of the purported election were brazenly shared on the social media on Tuesday, SWAN National Secretariat urged the general public to disregard the illegal exercise.

“The attention of the National Secretariat of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has been drawn to a purported elections by some persons and the emergence of a new executive for our Kaduna State chapter.

“The National Secretariat wants to inform SWAN members in Kaduna and the general public to disregard any such exercise and exco.

“That Isaiah Benjamin remains the Chairman and leader of SWAN in Kaduna State, just as Onjewu Dickson is the Secretary of the chapter alongside other State Executive Committee (SWC) members,” it contained,” it stated.

Worried by the restraining order and the statement from the National SWAN, members who felt it was wrong to have gone ahead are been removed nor called on phone by the Secretary to refrain from such.

Our correspondent who was at the court to monitor proceedings, reports that none of the respondents showed up on Wednesday.

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