Legal Drama

Court Nullifies AGN Election: Ibinabo Fiberesima, We Told You. An Ex-Convict Cannot Be the President of AGN.

Ibinabo FiberesimaWe discussed this case in the past. In case you may have forgotten or are new to AML, here are the quick facts. Ibinabo Fiberesima is the current President of the Associated Guild of Nigeria (AGN). She also happens to be the first woman to hold such a position in the organization’s history.

During her campaign for Presidency, there was quite an opposition. We heard several voices including Emeka Ike and Clarion Chukwura who argued that electing Fiberesima as President of AGN would be illegal and contrary to AGN’s constitutional mandate. In support of their argument, the opposition cited a language in the AGN constitution that prohibits an ex-convict from serving as President. Reference AML archived article ‘It’s Nothing Personal IBINABO Fiberesima, As an Ex-Convict, You Simply Can’t Be President of AGN,’ Claims Clarion Chukwurah.

Despite the opposition, Fiberesima prevailed. The opposition unhappy with what they believed to be a mockery and clear violation of the AGN constitution, filed their case in court seeking to overturn Fiberesima’s election. Now, a federal high court hearing the case has issued its ruling and it agrees with the opposition.

Fiberesima has now appealed the case.

With respect to my take on this case, I have said if the language of the AGN constitution makes it clear that an ex-convict cannot be the President of AGN, then such rule should be upheld, unless the drafters of the constitution decide to amend it to make an exception to the general rule.

It is indeed a case industry heads in Nollywood are paying close attention to.

(NOTE: What utter ridiculousness, as far as I am concerned, to say that even though a court has made a ruling saying you cannot be President of the AGN, your own rules will trump that of an actual court of law and that you will still remain President? Not only is it utterly ridiculous, it shows a complete disrespect to the court and Nigeria’s entire legal justice system.)

-Ms. Uduak

“Few hours after the judgment of Justice James Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Lagos, nullified the election of the first female president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Ibinabo Fiberisima, she was at the Court of Appeal, Lagos to challenge the ruling.

The River State-born thespian who hosted the President Goodluck Jonathan in an all-star interactive session last Sunday, it was learnt, asked her lawyers to file the appeal.

According to the National Secretary of the AGN, Abubakar Sanusi Yakub, “Ibinabo is challenging the judgment since she believes that the judge did not understand the case before making his judgment. That case has been backdated twice since 2011. “He said the judgment has nothing in common with Emeka Ike and his proxies. She did not contest any election with him. So how could he have the right to challenge her elections?”

In a swift reaction to the purported sack of its president, the AGN and its Board of Trustees proclaimed that there cannot be a vacancy of its leadership, and as such, the presidency of Ibinabo remains sacrosanct.

According to the AGN, “The National Executive Council of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN, received news of the judgment of a Federal High Court in Lagos on the 16th March 2015, which annulled the election of November 2012 which brought Ibinabo Fiberesima into office.

While we shall abide by the judgment of the High Court, we shall be guided by the Constitution of the Guild which stipulates that there shall be no vacuum in the leadership of the Guild.

“In view of this, Ibinabo Fiberesima remains the National leader of the AGN as the court did not declare Emeka Ike President of the guild. However, the Registered Board of Trustees has gone to the Appeal Court to challenge the judgment.”

Daily Independent Lagos via All Africa.com has the full story.

 

Photo description: Now Ex-AGN President Ibinabo Fiberesima holds up copy of AGN constitution.

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at https://msuduak.com.

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