THE Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division, Presided over by Hon. Justice I. E. Ekwo, has in a considered ruling, joined the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) as a defendant in a suit instituted by the Attorneys General of the States of the Federation against the Attorney General of the Federation, challenging the constitutionality of the NFIU’s “Enforcement, Guidelines and Policies for Mitigation of Money Laundering, Terrorism Financing and Proliferation of Weapons: NFIU Enforcement and Guidelines to reduce crime vulnerabilities created by cash withdrawal from local government funds throughout Nigeria.”
In an application filed by Femi Aborisade (Esq), NULGE had prayed the court that it should be joined as a defendant to defend the NFIU’s Guidelines.
NULGE predicated its application to be joined in the suit on the ground that as the lawful trade union recognised to organise and represent workers in all the local government areas including the Area Councils in Abuja, its members are directly affected by matters relating to local government funds, administration and management and measures aimed at preventing corruption, abuse of office and regulations governing withdrawal limits to ensure transparency and accountability, among other grounds.
After considering the arguments of the plaintiffs against the application for joinder, the court held that it found that “the Applicant has made a prima facie case for the necessity of being joined as a party.”
The court further held it has the prerogative and responsibility to ensure that all persons who may be entitled to, or who claim some interest in the subject matter of the suit or who may be affected by the results are made parties.
Consequently, the plaintiffs, whose lead counsel is Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), were ordered to amend their processes within 7 days to reflect the joinder of NULGE as the 3rd defendant.
The defendants were also ordered to file their respective processes within 7 days of being served plaintiffs’ amended processes.