Vaswani Brothers’ Application Over Deportation Fixed For May 12

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By Femi Okaro Johnson, Lagos
The Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday fixed May 12 for hearing of the application filed by the Vaswani brothers to restrain the Federal Government from deporting them.

Sunil, Haresh and Maresh Vaswani in a joint suit with their companies and foreign staff, want the Court to order the government to stay all actions on them pending the determination of the suit.

Joined in the suit are the attorney general of the federation, the minister of interior, the Nigerian Immigration Service and the IGP.

The Vaswanis prayed the court to restrain the defendants from withdrawing the expatriate quota positions of Stallion Group Ltd., Stallion Motors Ltd., Stallion Seafoods Ltd., Stallion Textile Industries Ltd., Stallion Industries Ltd., and Honda Place Ltd.

They also want the Court to restrain any government organ, department or security agents from deporting them or their staff from Nigeria pending the determination of the suit.

The Vaswanis further urged the Court to restrain the government from either confiscating or sealing their business premises and assets.

At the resumed hearing of the case, Counsel to the attorney general of the federation, Mr Chiesonu Okpoko, told the court that he had filed an application urging it to dismiss the suit.

``We have filed an application challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit as constituted and conceived,'' he said

He urged the court to hear his application challenging the jurisdiction first before any application could be heard.

Counsel to the Vaswanis, Prof. Gabriel Olawoyin, argued that both applications could be taken together as preservation order could be made by any court of law.

Ibrahim Kashil, Counsel to the minister of interior and the Nigerian Immigration Service, Jerry Omeze, told the court that they had not been served with the preliminary objection.

They said that they needed time to file a counter application, if the need arose.

Mr Justice Mohammed Liman, in his ruling, held that both applications would be taken together on May 12 to allow all the counsel file their counter applications.

"It is hoped that the summit will generate very important ideas for the ongoing constitutional reform,"he said.

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