A Federal High Court in Lagos has adjourned till January 7, 2015 for further hearing in the suit challenging the impeachment of Adewale Omirin as the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly.
Justice Saliu Saidu, on Monday, declined to recognise any submission by the defence counsel, Dele Adesina (SAN), on the grounds that the defence had not filed any processes before the court.
The judge had, at the last week’s proceeding, ordered the plaintiffs to serve the originating summons on the defendants through substituted means.
But at the Monday’s proceeding, the plaintiffs’ counsel, M.J. Onigbanjo, had raised objection to Adesina’s appearance in court on the grounds that the defence had failed to file and serve the required processes.
Besides, Onigbanjo insisted that Adesina could not be heard by the court, especially as regards the ex-parte application seeking to restrain the Ekiti Assembly in the interim.
“The issue of whether parties have a right of audience in an ex-parte application has been settled. The defendants can only be seen and not heard,” Onigbanjo insisted.
Adesina, however, replied that it was within the court’s discretion to hear any defendant who was present in court before making any such restraining order.
He also informed the court that his clients had filed a notice of preliminary objection, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter.
But ruling on their arguments, Justice Saidu upheld Onigbanjo’s submission that “the defendants’ processes were not served on the court and as such could not be considered for the purpose of proceedings.”
He had then further adjourned till January 7, 2015 with an order that the defendants should be put on notice.
Before the adjournment however, the plaintiffs’ counsel, Onigbanjo moved his ex-parte application.