Law News
Again, court refuses to stop impeachment suit against Fayose

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday again rebuffed prayers by Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State to stop the impeachment proceedings initiated against him and his deputy, Kolapo Olusola.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed during the Thursday’s proceedings delivered three bench rulings, two of which rejected Fayose’s prayers to halt the impeachment proceedings.

The court after rejecting Fayose’s ex parte application for interim injunction on April 8, 2015, again refused to grant same when another request for it was made on Thursday.

The court also refused to grant a separate prayer made by Fayose’s counsel, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), for an order directing parties to maintain the status quo.

The attempts made by Raji to obtain an order stopping the impeachment moves were resisted by a factional Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr. Adewale Omirin, who was represented by his counsel, Mr. Terence Vembe.

The heated arguments between Raji and Vembe lasted more than one and half hours on Thursday.

Vembe had appeared in court in response to an order of the court made on April 8, 2015, directing Omirin and other defendants in the suit to show why the impeachment moves should not be stopped by the court.

Rather than granting the order of injunction during the previous proceedings, Justice Mohammed had ordered the defendants in the suit, including the All Progressives Congress factional Speaker of the House of Assembly, Adewale Omirin, to appear in court on Thursday to convince the court why it should not grant the plaintiffs’ prayers.

Apart from Omirin, other defendants in the suit who were all ordered to appear in court on Thursday are the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba, the Independent National Electoral Commission, and the Chief Judge of Ekiti State, Justice Ayodeji Daramola.

But only Omirin and INEC were represented by their lawyers on Thursday. Both the Inspector-General of Police and the Chief Judge of Ekiti State did not send lawyers to represent them in court.

The plaintiffs in the suit are the Speaker of the House of Assembly (described as the Peoples Democratic Party factional Speaker, Olugbemi Joseph Dele); Ekiti State House of Assembly, Fayose and Olusola.

Earlier on Thursday, after counsel announced their appearances, Raji had urged the court to grant the order of interim injunction since none of the defendants had complied with the court order to show cause.

Raji said, “None of the defendants has filed any paper and already a life has been lost on the account of trying to carry out the illegal act (impeachment).

“To save more life, I urge my Lord to grant the reliefs 5, 6, 7 and 8 on our motion paper.”

But in response, Omirin’s counsel, Vembe contested the mode of service of the court processes on his client which was through a newspaper publication as ordered by the court on April 8.

Vembe argued that the service through a publication in Nigerian Tribune newspaper of Saturday, April 11, the day the governorship and House of Assembly elections held nationwide and as a result of which movements were restricted across the federation, was incompetent.

After heated arguments by both parties, the judge said his court would not be able to entertain the suit next week because he would be engaged with other official duties.

He then adjourned the matter till April 29.

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