ABUJA–Estranged Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Dr Adewale Omirin, has challenged the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court in Abuja to stop 19 Ekiti State All Progressives Congress, APC, lawmakers from impeaching the governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose.
Omirin, has therefore, asked Justice Evoh Chukwu to hands off the anti-impeachment suit that was lodged before the court by seven members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the Ekiti State House of Assembly.
The plaintiffs in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/3612015, are the seven- Dele Olugbemi Joseph, Ajibola Samuel Oyedele, Israel Olowo, Hon. Alex Ade Ojo, Adeyinka Adeloye, Adunni Modupe Olayinka and Ayoka Fatunmbi.
Aside, Omirin, the Inspector General of Police, the Ekiti State House of Assembly itself, and 20 others also joined as defendants in the suit.
However, only Omirin (the 2nd defendant) and the Clerk of the Ekiti State House of Assembly (the 21st defendant) entered appearance before the court over the matter yesterday.
Challenging the competence of the suit vide a preliminary objection yesterday, Omirin, through his lawyer Mr. Terence Vembe,insisted that the FHC in Abuja lacks the territorial jurisdiction to adjudicate on an issue that pertains to the desirability or otherwise of Governor Fayose to remain in office as the governor of Ekiti state.
The embattled Speaker further contended that the provisions of section 97 of Sheriffs and Civil Processes Act, which mandates that the plaintiffs ought to have firstly seek the leave of the Court before filing such suit out of jurisdiction.
Addressing the court through his lawyer, Omirin, maintained that neither himself nor his other APC brothers in the Ekiti State House of Assembly are bound to comply with any order from a court that ab-intio has no jurisdiction to entertain the primary case.
The high court had on April 23, 2015, ordered Omirin and the other 22 defendants in the suit to appear before him yesterday to show cause why the impeachment moves against governor Fayose and his deputy, Mr. Kolapo Olusola, should not be aborted.
Though counsel to the plaintiffs’ Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), urged the court to go ahead and issue a restraining order against the APC lawmakers from taking further steps with regards to the moves to impeach Fayose, the court yesterday said it would hear and determine Omirin’s preliminary objection first.
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