The Honourable Minister for Housing & Urban Development, Arc. Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, has been cautioned by the Association of Nigerian Chartered Architects to refrain from reconstituting and inaugurating the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) come Tuesday, 23rd January, 2024.
In a letter by its lawyers dated Friday, 19th January, 2024 and received by the Minister which is sighted the Association of Nigerian Chartered Architects expressed that inaugurating new Council members for ARCON while an Appeal is pending at the Court of Appeal over membership status of an entity invited to nominate members will be violating the rule of law which the Minister swore to uphold.
The Association of Nigerian Chartered Architects had instituted a civil suit with Suit No.: FHC/ABJ/CS/1085/2021 between The Incorporated Trustees of Association of Nigerian Chartered Architects vs. Architects Registration Council of Nigeria & 6 Ors where it alleged that the Incorporated Trustees of the Nigeria Institute of Architects (as 3rd Defendant) registered in November, 2013 with the Corporate Affairs Commission usurped the roles assigned to a Nigerian Institute of Architects mentioned under the Architects (Registration, etc.) Act, Cap. A19, L.F.N., 2004; and its activities of establishing and operating a tertiary educational institution contrary to the Education (National Minimum Standards and Establishment of Institutions) Act were illegal and promoted quackery in the architectural profession. In furtherance of its usurpation of the Nigerian Institute of Architects mentioned under the Architects (Registration, etc.) Act, the Incorporated Trustees of the Nigeria Institute of Architects also nominates its members to constitute ARCON which is a subject of the suit now on appeal at the Court of Appeal.
The Association also alleged that the Minister of Housing & Urban Development who is the supervising Minister for architectural profession in Nigeria has, through his officers and in concert with the Incorporated Trustees of the Nigeria Institute of Architects concluded plans to reconstitute and inaugurate ARCON on Tuesday, 23rd January, 2024 while the subject of constitution of members of ARCON, among other issues, has not yet been finally resolved by the court before whom the case is pending.
The Minister was further reminded of the position of the law in Gov., Lagos State vs. Ojukwu (1986) 1 N.W.L.R. (Pt. 18) p. 621 @ 637 to the effect that where a suit is pending, all activities affecting the res are automatically terminated as a mark of respect to the court before whom the case is pending, and the hands of the defendant who has notice are effectually tied pending a hearing and determination even though no restraining order be issued. The Letter which was copied to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister for Justice and signed by C.E.C. Njoku, Esq. (Counsel to Association of Nigerian Chartered Architects) cautioned the Minister to be wary of participating in conducts that will run contrary to the staunch commitment to the defence of the rule of law of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration by inaugurating the new Council members of ARCON on Tuesday, 23rd January, 2024. It ended by asserting his willingness to carrying out his client’s instruction of initiating contempt proceedings against the Minister, among other options, should the Minister defiantly proceed with the inauguration and reconstitution of ARCON.