First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan received victory in court over the decision to bring backwards the emergency meeting of African First Ladies’ Peace Mission (AFLPM), which was held on Friday in Abuja
The application brought against the holding of the meeting was dismissed by an Abuja High Court on Thursday, May 14.
The trial judge, Justice Baba-Yusuf, denied to stop the meeting because he held that the two affirmations filed by the plaintiffs were inconsistent and incompetent.
According to the judge, the affidavits were opposed to Section 115 (3), (4) of the Evidence Act 2011. The judge also said the application was not presented timeously before the court.
The judge reasoned that by the nature of the occasion, dignitaries must have arrived Nigeria from all parts of the continent and huge resources would have been put in to start up the event.
The notice to stop the meeting was moved on Thursday and the court delivered its ruling same day since the court had no choice as the event was fixed for Friday.
The plaintiffs, Nana Module Onwodi, Ekemma Ugborough Arisa, Louisa Ono Eikhomun and Deborah Oboh, had filed the suit, praying the court to stop the emergency meeting because, according to them, holding it on May 15 as opposed to the original July date was done in “bad faith” and was aimed at scuttling the chance of Aisha Buhari, wife of the President-elect General Buhari, from becoming the President of AFLPM.
The complainants had filed the writ of summons for themselves and on behalf of Concerned Women for Peace and Development, in a bid to stop the emergency meeting aimed at picking a new President of AFLPM from among the African First Ladies to succeed her.
The plaintiffs argued that the tenure of office of president of the mission is three years, which will fall due in July 2015 and that any move to convene a meeting to choose a new president now would amount to shortchanging Aisha Buhari who ought to get a chance by May 29, 2015 to participate and even contest for the office of AFLPM president in July, 2015.
However, the First Lady argued that the hosting of the AFLPM meeting now was a decision taken by the executives of the body and was not aimed at blocking Aisha Buhari.
Aisha Buhari, who recently said she was beginning to think the magnificence of the office died with the late Mariam Babangida, said she would prefer not to be called First Lady when her husband takes over on May 29.
Meanwhile, the summit on Friday elected the wife of Sierra Leonian President Koroma, as the new AFLPM President.