The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has restrained the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) from conducting and or conducting any qualifying professional examination by whatsoever name or form for the registration of architects in Nigeria. Justice Muawiyah Baba Idris made the order upon hearing of a motion of ex parte dated May 30, 2019, and moved on July 30, 2019, by S.N Mbaezue of Paul Ananaba & Co, counsel representing some concerned architects.
In the motion filed by the concerned architects and some of them that passed the qualifying examinations conducted by the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) and supported by a 45-paragraph affidavit, the applicants had urged the court for an order of interlocutory injunction against the defendants.
They named ARCON, its president, NIA and its president, as defendants. In his ruling on the motion marked M/6824/19, Justice Idris granted the reliefs sought by the applicants and adjourned hearing on the originating summons till August 8, 2010.
The court also ordered that the summons be served on NIA (2nd defendant) and NIA president (4th defendant). In the originating summons, the concerned architects had urged the court to determine whether by the provisions of Sections 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 of the Architects Registration Act, CAP A19, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, the roles of ARCON extended to the setting up and conducting of qualifying examination for architects in Nigeria.
The applicants also asked for a declaration that the function of ARCON was the regulation of architecture only in Nigeria, which included the registration of architects who had sat and passed the qualifying examination. They further sought a declaration that the only body required to carry out and conduct qualifying examination for the registration of architects in Nigeria NIA.
The aggrieved architects, among other things, also asked for a court declaration that the professional qualifying examination to be conducted for the registration of architects in Nigeria was the Professional Practice Competence Examination (PPCE) and must be in accordance with the Constitution of NIA. It would be recalled that ARCON and NIA had been in dispute over who should conduct architects’ qualifying examination thereby leading to the non-registration of many architects who had already sat and passed the examination.