The High Court in Akure, Ondo State, has postponed its ruling on two applications in the lawsuit filed by the state’s Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, until October 10.
During the court proceedings by Hon. Justice Akintan-Osadebay, arguments were presented by both the petitioner and the defendant before the process was suspended until the following week.
In the first application, Aiyedatiwa sought permission from the court to amend the Originating Summons by removing the name of the Governor and altering the reliefs sought. An affidavit supporting the application, sworn on October 3, 2023, explained that this amendment is necessary to accurately present the real issues in dispute.
While the defendants did not submit a counter-affidavit to this application, they opposed it on legal grounds. The court decided to consider the amendment application and applications from the House of Assembly, which challenge the court’s jurisdiction.
The House of Assembly, through its counsel, questioned the competence of the Deputy Governor’s substantive case, relying on section 188(10) of the Constitution. They argued that the suit was premature since the Assembly had not concluded removal proceedings, especially without a request to the Chief Judge to form an investigative panel.
The Assembly also claimed that the Akure case amounted to an abuse of the court process because the Deputy Governor had filed a similar suit in Abuja.
The Deputy Governor’s counsel argued that the Assembly should have filed their defence and then raised preliminary points of law in their defence. He suggested that the court cannot conveniently handle an amendment application alongside a preliminary objection since the objection should be based on the substantive suit.
Opposing the Assembly’s objection, the Deputy Governor’s counsel argued that the Assembly had not provided evidence of compliance with the removal procedure, such as proof of personal service of the Notice on the Deputy Governor and service on all Assembly members.
He contended that the Notice circulated by the Assembly was legally invalid and tainted since the Assembly had convened a plenary session to discuss the Notice before serving it to the Deputy Governor.
He also highlighted that the case in Abuja involved different parties and different reliefs, and the Assembly had failed to provide details of the Abuja case for comparison.
After hearing arguments from both sides, the court adjourned further proceedings to October 10, 2023, for a ruling.
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