THE Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has fixed May 21 for hearing in the suit filed by seven Peoples Democratic Party ,PDP lawmakers in the Ekiti State House of Assembly seeking to set aside
all the actions of the All Progressives Congress ,APC law makers including plans to impeach Governor Ayodele Fayose and his deputy, Kolapo Olusola.
The Judge, Justice Evoh Chukwu, while sitting on Monday also ordered that the status quo ante bellum as of 23 April, 2015 be maintained pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”
The judge ordered the plaintiffs to issue and serve the originating summons and all other processes in the suit on the defendants in Ekiti State outside the jurisdiction of the court.
The judge granted leave to the plaintiffs/applicants to serve the originating summons and all other processes in this suit on the 2nd – 21st defendants by substituted means by advertising same in the newspaper.
“That the service of the originating summons and all other processes in this suit on the 2nd to 21st defendants are deemed as proper service.
“That on the application of plaintiffs/applicants’ counsel time is hereby abridged to seven days within which the respondents are to file their processes i.e counter affidavit and written address if any from the date of the publication in the newspaper.”
The plaintiffs in the suit also asked the court to restrain the Clerk of the Ekiti State House of Assembly (the 21st defendant in the suit) from further according legislative privileges to the APC lawmakers in view of their continuous absence from meetings and legislative business of the state House of Assembly, pending the determination of the Motion on Notice for interlocutory injunction.
The plaintiffs, Dele Olugbemi Joseph, Ajibola Samuel Oyedele, Israel Olowo, Alex Ade Ojo, Adeyinka Adeloye, Adesope Olayinka and Ayoka Fatunmbi had approached the court through their counsel, Ahmed Raji (SAN), seeking an order to set aside all actions and activities taken by the APC lawmakers.
The court had at the last adjourned date while ruling on an ex-parte application brought by the plaintiffs, ordered the APC members in Ekiti House of Assembly to maintain the status quo in their bid to impeach the state governor, Ayodele Fayose.
After ordering the lawmakers to maintain the status quo, the judge summoned them to come anant show cause why he should not declare their seat vacant and also set aside all the actions taken so far with respect to the impeachment of Governor Fayose.
At the resumed hearing of the suit on Monday, Raji informed the court that defendants had not filed any application as ordered by court, showing why their (plaintiffs) reliefs against the defendants should not be granted.
He however urged the court to grant all their prayers setting aside all the actions of the APC lawmakers.
Counsel to the defendants, Terence Vember, raised an application challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter in the first place.
He told the court that he did not file any application because he is opposing the plaintiffs application.
He argued that the law permitted him to argue orally because the motion on notice filed by the plaintiffs was in default, having not sought the leave of court before filing it, to which Justice Chukwu, ordered the defendants to file their submission in writing.
Listed as defendants in the case are the Inspector General of Police, Speaker Ekiti State House of Assembly, Dr Adewale Omirin and 18 APC lawmakers.