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AC LAWMAKERS DRAG OSUN ASSEMBLY TO COURT OVER OSSIEC

By NBF News

Legislators elected on the platform of the Action Congress (AC) in the Osun State House of Assembly have dragged authorities of the legislature before an Osogbo High Court. The lawmakers are seeking an order to declare the screening of members of the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSSIEC) as incompetent null and void and of no effect while an appeal was pending.

In suit number HOS/M70/2010, members of the AC caucus led by Honourable Timothy Owoeye are seeking the order of the court to declare the screening of the Chairman and members of OSSIEC while an Appeal was pending as an abuse of court process.

In the originating summon dated June 29, 2010, the AC lawmakers also wanted the court to determine whether 'the filing of a stay of execution of a judgment by a party against whom the judgment is given has not put the judgment in abeyance until the ruling on the application is delivered.

They also wanted the court to determine whether an appeal properly filed at the High Court Registry is for onward transmission to the Court of Appeal could be properly terminated at the same High Court registry by mere filing of notice of withdrawal of appeal.

The summon which was filed by Mr. Kolapo Alimi for the plaintiffs, Owoeye, the Minority Leader, averred that on March 27, 2010, an attempt was made to serve him a notice of withdrawal of appeal at the premises of the state House of Assembly. He said he rejected the notice upon perusal that showed that his name was not written on it.

On March 30, 2010, Owoeye claimed that members of the House of Assembly were served with the list and the curriculum vitae of nominated chairman and members of the OSSIEC.

Retired Justice Titus Oyeyemi Adewuyi, Chiefs Remi Alabi, Bamidele Isola Ezekiel Ogunjuyigbe, Adebisis Gbolagade, Razak Adegbite and Surveyor Akinboye Ogunola were presented to the lawmakers as members of OSSIEC.

He also claimed that his advise to the Assembly not to violate the law by screening the persons named on the list while the appeal was pending in court was overruled and disregarded by the Speaker, Mr. Adejare Bello who brought the named persons into the chambers for screening.

The Minority Leader also claimed in his 15 paragraph affidavit in support of the originating summon that himself and other members of the AC caucus staged a walk out of the floor of the parliament.

Owoeye is urging the court to hold that 'it is trite law that when a matter is pending before a competent court of law, all parties to the suit or even non-parties to the suit are not expected to take any steps on the matter until the matter is finally disposed off by the court'.

An Osogbo High Court presided over by Justice Jide Falola had earlier in the year, ruled that the composition of OSSIEC was illegal. Following the judgment, the state government filed a notice of appeal but in a twist, the state government sent a fresh list of OSSIEC members to the parliament for screening and approval.

No date has been fixed for the suit.