A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday, May 4, 2015 warned parties in the suit filed
by the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Dele Olugbemi,
and six other Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers, seeking an
order to declare the seats of the 19 All Progressives Congress (APC)
lawmakers vacant and the impeachment process purportedly commenced
by the APC lawmakers null and void, to maintain status quo ante bellum
till May 21 when the matter was adjourned.
The judge warned that it would be contemptuous for any of the parties
to the case to do anything that would affect the merit of the matter,
citing the case of Ojukwu vs. Governor of Lagos State (1985).
During the hearing of the suit Number FHC/ABJ/CS/361/15 before Justice
E. S. Chukwu on Monday, Counsel to Dr. Adewale Omirin and 18 other APC lawmakers, Mr.
Vembere, filed preliminary objection, challenging the court’s 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
Olugbemi and six others had filed the suit, seeking an order of court to
restrain 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.