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By: Adesoji Adetona
Contrary to claim by a business mogul in Ondo state Chief (Mrs) Ruth Olowookere (a.k.a Madam Do Good), the Association of Iyaloja and Iyalaje of Nigeria, has reaffirmed Chief (Mrs.) Iwalola Adefemiwa as the legally recognized and undisputed Iyaloja-General and leader in Ondo State.
The market traders popularly known as Iyaloja and Iyalajes, explained that due to interminable leadership crisis in the National Traders and Market Leaders Council of Nigeria, (NATMALC), some leaders and members had dumped the council and since 26th day of June, 2019 registered the Association of Iyaloja and Iyalaje of Nigeria with the federal government’s Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
The Association in a Press Statement signed by its lawyer, Mr Femi Emmanuel Emodamori and a copy was made available to newsmen in Akure on Tuesday, noted that it was misleading and unlawful for Mrs Olowookere to be threatening Chief (Mrs) Adefemiwa when the Council and the Association are two different bodies.
“Our clients state that Chief (Mrs.) Iwalola Adefemiwa is the bona fide Iyaloja-General and leader of their Association in Ondo State. In that capacity, she has been leading tens of thousands of their members to public sensitization rallies and other public functions within and outside Ondo State, for almost one year, under the auspices of their Association of Iyaloja and Iyalaje of Nigeria, and not NATMALC.
“Chief (Mrs.) Iwalola Adefemiwa is therefore not in contempt of the judgment of any court of law, as alleged by Chief (Mrs.) Ruth Olowookere (Madam Do Good).
“Consequently, our clients believe that the allegation by Chief (Mrs.) Ruth Olowookere (Madam Do Good) was borne out of mischief and deliberate misrepresentation, being fully aware of the registration of their new Association of Iyaloja and Iyalaje of Nigeria, under the pragmatic and crises-free leadership Chief (Mrs.) Iwalola Adefemiwa.
“As a matter of fact, since it is our clients’ Association that was registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission as the Association of Iyaloja and Iyalaje of Nigeria and not NATMALC, it is Chief (Mrs.) Ruth Olowookere (Madam Do Good) who is actually liable for the tort of passing off in law, by parading herself as the Iyaloja-General.”
“Our clients are aware that it is electioneering season in Ondo State, and that some individuals who may be seeking political patronage would be tempted to infiltrate and misrepresent associations with huge and powerful membership, like their Association of Iyaloja and Iyalaje of Nigeria.
“The position of our clients is that Mr. Governor, as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, understands the legal implications of the incorporation of different Associations by their distinct names. Mr. Governor is therefore in order, to have duly recognized the leadership of our clients’ Association of Iyaloja and Iyalaje of Nigerian in Ondo State, and partnering with them for the development of the State.”
Pix: Chief Adefemiwa with Gov Akeredolu receiving nose masks for her members recently in Akure.
“Our clients’ Association of Iyaloja and Iyalaje of Nigeria was registered with the C.A.C without objection from the public, on the 26th day of June, 2019, after painstakingly fulfilling all the preconditions for registration. The advertorial published by our clients in page 28 of the Tuesday, April 9th edition of The Authority National Newspaper is one of such conditions.
“It is therefore clear that NATMALC is not, and can never be regarded as the same as our clients’ Association of Iyaloja and Iyalaje of Nigeria, just like political parties or other associations which are registered by different names, have their different and distinct legal identities,” the Association opined.
“They are not, and can never be the same. Although the majority of the members of our clients’ Association of Iyaloja and Iyalaje of Nigeria were previously members of NATMALC, they had since renounced their membership of NATMALC in their thousands, and migrated to their newly registered Association, as a result of the interminable leadership crises bedeviling NATMALC.
“There is absolutely no doubt, that the right to freedom of association is a fundamental right which is enshrined and jealously protected by S.40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended). Our clients simply exercised their constitutional right to freedom of association when they formed, registered and migrated to their new Association.
“From the facts made available to us, ALL the executive members of NATMALC at the Ondo State level, and the executive members of each of the 18 Local Government Areas of the State, as well as ALL their members, had since dumped NATMALC and joined the Association of Iyaloja and Iyalaje of our clients, under the leadership of Chief (Mrs.) Iwalola Adefemiwa, who was wrongly referred to as Iwalola Akinfemiwa by Madam Do Good (Olowookere) in the press interview.
“Our clients want to reassure the millions of their members across Ondo State, that they would continue to protect and advance the interests of all the market men and women, and throw their heavy weight behind any government or other bodies that are fully ready to promote their collective interests, rather than stoop low to engage in mudslinging, like Chief (Mrs.) Ruth Olowookere (Madam Do Good).
“To that extent, our clients declare that they would continue to give their maximum support to the currently administration of Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu in Ondo State, which they believe has given utmost priority to the collective welfare and prosperity of the market men and women in the State, and still promising to do more for them,” the Association concluded.