Law News
Appeal Court resumes sitting in Ekiti today

The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, has reversed the directive relocating the Ado-Ekiti Division of the court to Ilorin, Kwara State.

The division is to resume sitting today (Monday) in Ado-Ekiti after entreaties made by the state chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association and the state government.

The PUNCH gathered that Governor Ayodele Fayose’s Special Assistant on Legal, Mr. Owoseni Ajayi, wrote a letter on behalf of the government to the PCA.

The Ekiti chapter of the NBA had also met with the Presiding Justice in the state to appeal for a return of the appellate court to the state.

It was learnt that Justice Bulkachuwa reversed the directive after extracting commitment from the state government to ensure protection of justice in the state.

The Vice-Chairman of the Ekiti NBA, Mr. Gbenga Adaramola, and Ajayi confirmed to our correspondent on Sunday that the appellate court would resume sitting in Ado-Ekiti on Monday (today).

Ajayi said, “It is true the court would resume sitting tomorrow (Monday). We merely wrote a letter to the PCA to inform her that there was conducive atmosphere for the court to conduct its business. And the PCA acted on it promptly.”

Justice Bulkachuwa had ordered a temporary relocation of the appellate court to Ilorin following violence that erupted in the state in September, when judges were attacked by political thugs.

Hearing in a petition by the All Progressives Congress against the then Governor-elect, Ayodele Fayose, was also disrupted when thugs started hurling stones at a petitioner’s counsel, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN).

Fayose had approached the Court of Appeal, Ado-Ekiti, to challenge the powers of the Ekiti State High Court to hear the case challenging his eligibility to contest the June 21 governorship election.

Justice Olusegun Ogunyemi, had on September 22, assumed jurisdiction and refused an application to set aside an order abridging the time for Fayose to file his defence in the case filed by members of Ekiti-11, Mr. Adeniyi Ajakaiye and Olufemi Ajayi.

In the Notice of Appeal filed at the State High Court, Ado-Ekiti, Fayose through his team of lawyers led by Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN) accused the trial judge of denying him fair hearing.

The respondents are Ajakaiye, Ajayi, Peoples Democratic Party and the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Fayose also asked the judge to stay further proceedings in the suit, pending determination of the interlocutory appeal.

The motion on notice was brought pursuant to Order 39 Rules 1, Order 54 Rule 1 of Ekiti State (Civil Procedure) Rules 2011 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.

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