Traders under the umbrella of Balogun Business Association, BBA Trade Fair Complex, Badagry expressway, Lagos have raised the alarm over threat by thugs to invade the market and unleash mayhem on them.
Consequently, they have called on Police authorities in Lagos to wade in, with a view to arresting those spoiling for war, in order to avert bloodshed.
Briefing journalists over the weekend at the association’s secretariat they disclosed that information at their disposal revealed that the invasion would take place between yesterday (Sunday) and Wednesday.
While recalling that similar attacks by the thugs whom they alleged were loyal to a former leader of the market, occurred in years 2005 and 2007, in a bid to force their leader on them, the traders vowed to resist any unlawful takeover of their association.
Chief Security Officer of the Association, Chief Celestine Emechebe, said, ” We got the information that the opposition group, after the Kangaroo election with hooligans at the Villa Park Hotel, have perfected their plans to unlawfully invade our market and forcefully install their administration with the help of their police friends. They will not succeed because we will resist it with all our strength. This same thing happened in 2005 and 2007, that led to the death of some persons”.
He traced the genesis of the problem to refusal by a former Chairman of the association’s Board of Trustee to step down for another administration, even after the expiration of his tenure.
Emechebe said, “ I have advised him privately to allow the present administration and caretaker Committee led by Chief Anselem Duru, to complete its term next month, to make way for a peaceful election on July 28th, but he refused to allow peace reign in the market”
On his part, the Progenitor /Founding Father of BBA, Ambassador Leonard Ogbonna, who is also the Secretary of the Caretaker committee inaugurated by the outgoing President, Chief Tony Obih, explained that he invited the accused leader to join the association in the year 1990 but expressed regrets at the outcome of his action.
He said, at the expiration of the tenure of the former president, he allegedly refused to conduct an election last year due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
He said, “ As stipulated in our constitution, the outgoing administration had to inaugurate a Caretaker Committee headed by Hon. Anselem Duru. After the expiration of the constitutional two months lifespan of the committee, we approached a Badagry Magistrate court for an extension, which was granted until July 31, 2021, and upheld by a Federal High Court. We have appointed a Constitutional Returning Officer who is Chief G. O . Umunnabuike, who has instituted an Electoral panel already working, with our elections fixed for July 28th, next month”.
CelebrityGig gathered that a Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, had stepped into the long-running crisis in Balogun Business Association, by granting an application of the association on June 24th by its leadership, led by Chief Anselm Dunu, to quash a purported decision of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), revoking the current Certificate of Registration of the Association.
The application of the association which is for orders of certiorari, prohibition and injunction arising from a letter addressed by the commission to some of the lawyers involved in the imbroglio, followed an application made by six members of the market for themselves as incumbent chairman and secretary, respectively, of the caretaker committee of the association representing other incumbent members of the committee upon an ex-parte motion seeking an order granting leave to them to quash the letter issued by revoking and cancelling the certificate of registration of the association.