The effort of the Ilajo clan in Kabba Kogi State to restrain Governor Yahaya Bello, from presenting the Staff of Office to Oba Solomon Dele Owoniyi, suffered a major setback as the interlocutory injunction filed to stop the process was declined by the court.
The case which came up yesterday at the State High Court, Lokoja, was presided over by Justice S.O Otu.
Counsel to Ilajo clan, Mr Rabana (SAN) had filed an application of interlocutory injunction to restraint the State Government in carrying out the presentation ceremony schedule to hold on Saturday.
He said they had to file the application due to the nature of the case, as the state government prepares to present the staff of office to the first defendant which negates the interest of his client.
While counsel to the defendant, Dayo Akinlaja (SAN), in his counter augment, said the case was not ripe for hearing and noted that according to the rules of the court, the defendant has seven days to respond to the application.
He said the appellant filed the application on October 16, 2018, and noted that despite being served on the same day, the rules stated that they needed clear two days to study the application for response, aside being mandatory for them to have their seven days, as that would give them enough time to file in their responses.
Dayo Akinlaja said aside the defective nature of the process, the appellant adopted they have also filed in their preliminary objections against the application, noting that they have to determine the jurisdiction of the court before hearing the case. He argued that they needed more time to respond to the application, while Rabana (SAN) said despite the rules of the court, the judge still has the discretion to rule in his favour to hear the case.
The Director of Legal Civil, who appeared on behalf of the state government, also adopted the submission of the counsel to the first defendant and noted that it was premature to hear the case based on the rules of the court and law. Giving his ruling on the application, Justice S.O Otu said the court being an institution that should uphold justice based on fairness and truth; hence it cannot close its eyes on issues raised by the counsels to the defendants.
Justice Otu, in his ruling said it was an abuse of court process, and that he had not even determined his jurisdiction to entertain the case, hence he ruled against the oral application and adjourned the cases to 12th November, 2018 for hearing.
This latest judicial decision effectively clears the way for Oba Solomon Dele Owoniyi, Otitoleke Oweyomade 1 to receive his staff of office tomorrow.