In respect to a suit filed by Precious Chikwendu against her ex-husband, Femi Fani-Kayode, a Federal High Court sitting in Apo, Abuja, has ordered that fresh court summons be served to him.
The Street Journal had earlier reported that Chikwendu, a former beauty queen, had dragged her ex-husband, a former Aviation Minister, to court, alleging that he beat her up on several occasions even while she was pregnant.
She, therefore, demanded full custody of their four sons.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Friday, Justice S.C Oriji ruled that fresh court summons be service on Fani-Kayode, after his counsel, Mr Adeola Adedipe claimed the one earlier served was invalid, alleging his client’s signature was forged,
Adedipe had prayed the court to decline jurisdiction on the matter and urged it to either strike out the suit or alternatively, set aside the earlier purported service of the processes filed by Chikwendu on his client.
The defendant‘s counsel said that the only reason the minister was present in court was out of protest and not because he was duly served.
He further said that the issue of the purported service was currently being investigated by the police.
Chikwendu’s counsel, Mrs Enohor Moi-Wuyep, prayed the court to dismiss Fani-Kayode’s application in its entirety because the respondent was duly served, and he acknowledged receipt of the court summons via text which read, “This is the text message he sent; I received your summons, I thought we were making progress and the matter can be resolved amicably in the interest of the children. What a pity, we shall meet in court.”
Giving a short ruling, Justice Oriji held that from what the bailiff told the court, service was not affected personally on the respondent.
The judge held that the bailiff should have insisted on serving the respondent personally, saying the fact that the bailiff did not see him personally raises the question of invalid service.
The judge said, “The issue is not that he has not received it, but that it was not served on him personally.
“In the light of the doubt on personal service, what is left for the court to do is to set aside the service.
“The purported service of the processes is hereby set aside.”
The judge made an order that fresh court summons along with the originating motion is served on Fani-Kayode.
He adjourned the matter until April 21 for a hearing.