A Court of Appeal sitting in Benin City, Tuesday, granted a motion for accelerated hearing for the appeal to a suit filed by the National chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, challenging the lower court restraining order.
The three-man panel of justices presided over by Justice Morenike Ogunwoniju also granted an order for departure from the rules of the court of appeal with respect to hearing of the appeal.
The appellant instituted an appeal challenging the stay of execution order granted by the federal court on June 8, restraining Adams Oshiomhole and the APC from conducting direct mode of primary election in the state.
They filed a motion seeking for an order for departure from the rules and an order for stay of further proceedings.
The respondents are Kenneth Asekomhe, Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, APC, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and Inspector General of Police At the hearing, counsel to the appellant, Kingsley Obamogie urged the justices to grant the appellant’s application and dismiss the application by the first and second respondents–seeking to truncate the appellant right to process its appeal.
According to him, the first and second respondents filed a counter affidavit opposing the motion seeking the lordship of stay of execution order of the lower court but didn’t express opposition to the motion on departure and acceleration of hearing.
“The respondents can not now stand before your lordship and resign from what they said earlier.
“An order restraining us from the mode of primary is of primary importance and that is why we have come here to vent.
“It is a constitutional right that the appellant has exercised by coming to your lordship,” he said.
However, counsel to the first and second respondents, Ken Mozia (SAN), opposed to the motion noting that the Court of Appeal lacks the vires to hear a motion filed in federal high court and transmitted to the Court of Appeal.
“I urged your lordship to refuse this application.
“The lower court has not made any pronouncement or expressed opinion of any of the substantive case or various notices of preliminary objections filed by the parties,” he said.
Following arguments between the counsels, the justices in a unanimous decision struck out the first and second respondents motion seeking to refuse hearing of the appeal. Consequently, the court adjourned to Thursday, June 18 for hearing, and gave the respondents 24 hours to file their respondent’s brief in answer to the appellant’s brief already filed.
While the appellant was given 12 hours to file any possible reply to the respondent’s brief. In a related development, the presiding judge also ordered the appellant to rectify the mix-up in the records of one of the notices of appeal filed by the counsel to the All Progressives Congress, H. O Ogbodu (SAN). Also, parties seeking to join the suit withdrew their appeal to prevent any further mix-up of records. Ken Mozia had earlier argued that apart from the disjointed nature of the record, the ruling is not boldly written in the records neither are the proceedings clearly stated in the records, and urged the justices to strike out the appeal. But Justice Morenike granted the appellant 24 hours to go and regularise their records, and then fixed June 17 for hearing.
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