Monday, October 3, 2022

Kogi CJ vs Governor/Assembly: Counsel seeks out of court settlement

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Kogi High Court sitting in Koton-Karfe has granted an application for out-of-court settlement in the case between the state chief judge, Nasir Ajanah and the State Governor/House of Assembly.

Justice Alaba Omolaye-Ajileye granted the application of counsel to the state governor and the Assembly who are defendants in the suit instituted by the Chief Judge and Chief Registrar of the state Judiciary.

When the case came up for hearing on Tuesday, Counsel to the defendants, Rotimi Oguneso (SAN), stated that the nature of the matter was such that ought to be resolved out of court.

Mr Oguneso, therefore, applied for an adjournment to allow him explore the possibility of out of court settlement.

Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) who led four other Senior Advocates for the appellants did not oppose the application.

He, however, applied for extension of the lifespan of the earlier orders of the court.

In his ruling, Mr Omolaye-Ajileye noted that it was part of the duties of a court to encourage amicable settlement of matters.

He commended the initiative of Mr Oguneso in seeking to get the matter resolved out of court but held that the fears expressed by Mr Awomolo over the need to preserve the earlier orders was well-founded.

Mr Omolaye-Ajileye stated that it was expedient that the lifespan of his earlier orders be extended in the interest of justice and in order to prevent occurrence of any irreparable mischief.

The jurist accordingly ordered that his earlier order remained in force, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice of 12th December, 2018.

Mr Omolaye-Ajileye further restrained the defendants from taking any step, under any guise, to frustrate the case and adjourned the case to February 4th, 2019.

It will be recalled that the Chief Judge and Chief Registrar, Mr Yahaya Ademu, had approached the court to challenge the purported plan by the assembly to investigate them and the state judiciary.

The House had allegedly constituted a committee to investigate the judiciary upon receipt of a petition by the Secretary to the State Government, Folashade Ayoade, against the judiciary over alleged impasse between the judiciary and the state government.

The appellants had sought and were granted three injunctions restraining the defendants from threatening or interfering in the discharge of the duties of the applicants.

They also urged the court to restrain the defendants from taking cognisance of any report emanating from the adhoc committee set up by the state assembly on December 11, 2018 pending the determination of the substantive suit.


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