Metro Lagos Court adjourns ruling on Cherubim and Seraphim Church leadership crisis

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday fixed Feb. 19, to rule on an objection to a motion for joinder, filed by an elder of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church against five others over a leadership tussle.

The plaintiff, Prince Adepoju Arogundade, by his motion, prayed the court to join Remi Beckley, M. Oshode and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as third to fifth defendants.

The Incorporated Trustees of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church (C & S) and one Elder Adebola Adewuja are the first and second defendants, respectively.

The case, which was initially slated for ruling, is now adjourned to Feb. 19, at the instance of the court.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the plaintiff had filed the suit in February 2009, seeking an order reinstating him as rightful leader of the C & S Church in Nigeria.

At the last adjourned date on Feb. 14, Counsel to the plaintiff, Mr Tunji Gomez, had informed the court of his pending motion for joinder.

Moving in terms of the motion, Gomez argued that the CAC erred when it re-registered the C & S Church in 1993, which originally had been registered in 1930.

Meanwhile, Counsel to the CAC, Mr A.I. Tijani, raised a preliminary objection to the motion for joinder, arguing that it had not been properly joined in the suit.

Tijani argued that the objection of plaintiff ought to have been raised three months from when the second registration was made.

He maintained that the law could not avail a party who slept over his right, adding that since the plaintiff failed to raise the issue when the act was done, it had been overtaken by time.

He, therefore, argued that there was no basis for joining the CAC in the suit.

After listening to the argument of learned counsel, Justice Ibrahim Buba had adjourned the case for ruling.

NAN reports that the plaintiff averred in his statement of claim that the C & S Church, was founded in 1925 by Capt. Emmanuel Abiodun, and registered in 1930.

He said the church had a constitution which clearly stipulated the mode of leadership succession.

``The constitution provides that after the death of a leader, the oldest in the church is to assume position as the next leader," he said.

According to the plaintiff, after the death of his father, he became the oldest member of the church as of right to be appointed leader.

Arogundade stated that rather than appointing him as successor in line with the C & S Constitution, one elder Adebola Adewuja was appointed in his stead.

He, therefore, prayed the court to declare the appointment a nullity since it contravened the provisions of the church's constitution.

In addition, Arogundade sought an order to re-instate him as the rightful leader of the church.

The plaintiff also prayed the court to restrain the defendants from further appointing a leader of the church, adding that the tenure of Adewuja had expired.

He wants further appointment stayed, until the substantive matter is decided by the court
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