Court gives Aregbesola 7 days to defend refusal to appoint commissioners

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An Osun State High Court sitting in Osogbo has given Governor Rauf Aregbesola, seven days to defend why he has not constituted his cabinet since 2014.

Governor-Rauf-Aregbesola-700x467

His counsel, Fatimo Adesina had urged the court to consider the governor’s application on the court’s lack of jurisdiction to hear the case before proceeding to the substantive suit filed by Barrister Kanmi Ajibola over his refusal to appoint commissioners for almost two years since his assumption of office for second term.

Ajibola had challenged Aregbesola’s tactics of deliberately wasting the time of the court by bringing on the issue of jurisdiction when in fact he had instituted his action against the governor since June this year, newsmen reports.

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“My submission is that this is no longer the law. When the Supreme Court knew that lawyers were using all delayed tactics in the court and for safety of time, which goes to the foundation of fair hearing, the Apex Court said the preliminary objection, whenever raised, should be concurrently taken,” he said.

Citing the case of Amadi versus NNPC as reported in the NWLR, Part 674 of 2000, Ajibola noted that “what the Supreme Court did at that time was that at the point of judgment delivery, the court will first deal with the preliminary objection before going to the substantive issue”.

Meanwhile, the defence counsel in her counter argument told the court that the position of the law has since changed from what Barrister Ajibola cited, asking the court to hear the issue of jurisdiction first before proceeding to the substantive suit.

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According to her, in the Supreme Court case on Ajayi versus Adebiyi, vol. 11, Pages 137 and 202 decided in 2012, stated that it will be out of order for the court not to decide the issue of jurisdiction before venturing into the real matter.

In his response, Ajibola told the court that the response of the defendant’s counsel was overdue, saying Aregbesola was already out of time in response to the issue on ground.

In her ruling, the presiding judge, Justice Olayinka Ayoola said the law was so clear in the issue of jurisdiction, and that both the preliminary objection and the originating summons were going to be handled concurrently.

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Justice Ayoola frowned at the time wasting tactics of the defendant, asking the governor’s counsel to file within seven days all necessary documents for the hearing and determination of the case.

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