Ekiti Impeachment Suit: Court Orders Parties to File Pending Processes

•Adjourns to Feb 8 for definite hearing

Gbenga Sodeinde in Ado Ekiti

An Ekiti State High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti has ordered parties in the suit filed by former Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Gboyega Aribisogan challenging his impeachment to file all their pending processes ahead of definite hearing of the matter.

Justice Adekunle Adeleye who gave the order at the court’s sitting yesterday, expressed readiness to hear the Defendants’ Preliminary Objection and Counter-Affidavit together along with the Motion of the Claimants in the suit.

The defendants in the suit were the Ekiti State House of Assembly (1st), the Clerk of the House of Assembly (2nd) and Rt. Hon. Olubunmi Adelugba, the new Speaker of the House of Assembly (3rd).

Counsel to the Claimant, Mr. Sunday Olowolafe had earlier brought a motion for a prayer to set down the case for hearing and a prayer for an order of the court to enter judgment for his client in default of pleadings.

But counsel to the Defendants, Chief Rafiu O. Balogun, who insisted to be on the record of the court, countered that the Claimant’s Motion was not ripe for hearing in view of a Notice of Preliminary Objection he filed on behalf of his clients.

Justice Adeleye who expressed desire of the suit to be heard in good time, urged counsel to the Defendants to file Counter-Affidavit which he said would be heard with the Preliminary Objection.

But Balogun said his position was supported by Order 5 Rule 2 of the Ekiti State High Court Rules, saying filing Counter Affidavit would amount to waiver and non-compliance with the Rules which provides that issues of irregularities must be raised before taking any further step.

The counsel to the Defendants argued further that the issue of jurisdiction must be taken first before hearing of the substantive matter. He urged the court to give a date for hearing of the preliminary objection.

The judge subsequently delivered a short ruling ordering the Defendants to file their Counter-Affidavit for the Preliminary Objection and the substantive matter to be taken together on the authority of Inakoju v Adeleke.

After the ruling, counsel to the Claimant, Olowolafe, prayed for a short leave for all parties in the suit to file in their processes.

The two lawyers agreed on dates to file in their processes at the Court Registry to pave the way for the definite hearing of the case.

After their concurrence, the court approved specific dates for all processes to come in to allow for an accelerated hearing of the suit. The court subsequently gave the claimant not later than February 7, to file his response to the Counter-Affidavit of the defendants.

The defendants, on the other hand, were given February 1, to file an extension of time to file their Counter-Affidavit to the Claimant’s Originating Summons.

The Court subsequently adjourned the suit till February 8, for definite hearing.

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