Impeachment: Federal High Court adjourns Aiyedatiwa’s suit till Nov. 17

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has adjourned ruling on various applications before it on the case between the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Hon Lucky Aiyedatiwa and the State House of Assembly to November 17, 2023.

Justice Emeka Nwite on Monday while hearing the applications and arguments by the counsels to the plaintiff and the defendants, declined to make a pronouncement on the status of the initial injunction granted by the court on the impeachment process against Aiyedatiwa by the Assembly.

During the resumed hearing, the plaintiff’s counsel, Ebun Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, informed the Court that the 4th and 6th Defendants have filed an appeal with the Court of Appeal, Abuja division. An appeal number has been assigned, records of appeal have been transmitted, and a brief of argument has been filed. He argued that it is a well-established legal principle that when a matter is filed before an appellate court, the lower court should refrain from exercising jurisdiction over it.

The plaintiff’s counsel urged the Court to discontinue its involvement in the matter since it has been properly filed with the Court of Appeal. Furthermore, the same reliefs sought in the application before the Federal High Court are being pursued at the Court of Appeal. The learned silk, Ebun Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, contended that the lower court no longer has jurisdiction, and it cannot make any pronouncements because the outcome of the appeal will impact the Court’s jurisdiction.

Counsel for the 3rd Defendant, Gbadamosi, opposed this argument, stating that an appeal does not automatically result in a stay of proceedings. If the plaintiff wishes to pursue such an application, he should formally request a stay of proceedings.

Counsels representing the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Defendants supported the 3rd Defendant’s submission, urging the Court not to grant the Plaintiff’s counsel’s application. The plaintiff’s counsel responded to all the arguments and submissions made by the Defendants, referencing relevant legal authorities.

Despite oral applications and passionate appeals by the Defendants’ counsels requesting the Court to make a specific pronouncement regarding the status of the Court order issued on September 26, 2023, the Court did not respond.

Instead, the Court adjourned the matter to November 17, 2023, for a ruling on the various applications and submissions of the parties.

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