Fayose's Impeachment: Court Warns Parties To Maintain Status Quo, Adjourns Case Till May 21
A Federal High Court in Abuja today, warned parties in the suit filed by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Dele Olugbemi and six other Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers, seeking an order declaring the seats of the 19 All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers vacant and the impeachment processes purportedly commenced by the APC lawmakers null and void, to maintain status quo ante bellum till May 21 that the matter was adjourned to.
The judge warned that it will be contemptuous for any of the parties to the case to anything that will affect the merit of the matter, citing the case of Ojukwu vs. Gov Of Lagos State (1985).
During the hearing of the Suit Number FHC/ABJ/CS/361/15 before Justice E. S. Chukwu today,
Counsel to Dr Adewale Omirin and the 18 other APC lawmakers, Mr Vembere filed preliminary objection, challenging the court jurisdiction to hear the case.
Argument had earlier ensued as to who among the defendants Mr Vembere was representing as the affidavit he filed indicated that he was representing the 1st Defendant, whom he referred to as the Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly.
However, contrary to the lawyer's claim, the 1st Defendant in the suit was the Inspector General of Police.
While adjourning the matter till May 21, 2015 for adoption of written addresses on the preliminary objection and the propriety of Omirin's counsel's reference to the 1st Defendant (IGP) as Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Justice Chukwu ruled that his order of April 23, 2015 that status quo ante bellum as at April 23, 2015 be maintained pending the hearing of the Motion on Notice remained valid.
Barrister M. D. Owolabi appeared for the Clerk of the House of Assembly while the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) were not represented by any counsel.
Olugbemi and six others had filed the suit, seeking an order of injunction restraining the Clerk of the House from further according legislative privileges to Omirin and the other APC lawmakers in view of their continuous absence from meeting and legislative business of the State House of Assembly, and an order restraining the IGP from continuing to give cover, protection and shield to the APC lawmakers.
Olugbemi also sought from the court, an interim order setting aside all the activities, actions or steps taken by the APC lawmakers till date, including the purported commencement of impeachment proceedings and notice alleging misconduct against Governor Ayodele Fayose and his Deputy, Dr Olusola Eleka pending determination of the Motion on Notice and Interlocutory Injunction.