Law News
Court decides lawmakers’ suit against Fayose May 7

A Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed May 7, 2015 to rule on an application by the 19 Ekiti State All Progressives Congress lawmakers to discontinue their case against Governor Ayodele Fayose and 13 others.

The lawmakers had instituted the action to challenge the impeachment of both the former Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Adewale Omirin, and his deputy, Adetunji Orisalade .

Omirin and Orisalade had been impeached on November 20 last year by their colleagues in the Peoples Democratic Party.

The suit, which was filed in December 2014, is seeking, among others, an order restraining the factional Speaker of the House, Dele Olugbemi, and his deputy, Olayinka Abeni, from either parading themselves as the leaders of the Ekiti House or executing duties in such capacity.

But the APC lawmakers, through their counsel, Mr. Norrison Quakers (SAN), Thursday last week filed a notice, dated April 7, 2015, to discontinue the case.

Though, no reason was exhibited in the notice of discontinuance of the suit marked FHC/L/CS/1823/14, the action followed the argument by Fayose that Omirin and Orisalade lacked the locus standi to commence impeachment proceedings against him, since they had been impeached and they were currently challenging their impeachment in court.

At the resumed proceeding on Thursday, the lawyer representing Fayose and others, Mr. E.O. Afolayan, argued that following the application for discontinuation, the proper thing for the court to do was to dismiss the suit.

But the counsel who represented the plaintiffs at the Thursday’s proceeding, Mr. Onyeka Ofoegbu, said the court could only strike out the suit and not to dismiss it.

If a suit is dismissed, the implication is that such case could no longer be filed or re-presented at a future time.

Afolayan argued that since Fayose and the others had already filed a preliminary objection to the lawmakers’ motion on notice, the court could no longer simply strike the suit out but dismiss it to foreclose any future opportunity to file it again.

Justice Saliu Saidu has adjourned till May 7 for comprehensive argument and ruling on the application.

The judge had on December 10, 2014 declined an ex parte application by the APC lawmakers to restrain the seven PDP lawmakers from carrying on with legislative duties in the absence of the APC lawmakers.

Saidu had rather ordered that the defendants be put on notice.

Though, the case had been bogged down due to the difficulty of the plaintiffs’ lawyer to serve the court papers on Fayose and others.

The defendants had challenged both the subject matter and territorial jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit, which subject matter took place in Ekiti State rather than Lagos where the lawmakers filed the case.

Joined as the defendants along with Fayose, Olugbemi and Abeni were the Inspector General of Police, the Commissioner of Police in Ekiti State and the Department of State Service.

Others were the three commissioners cleared for appointment by the House under Olugbemi’s leadership and the five other PDP lawmakers in the House.

Click here to read from source.