From Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti
An Ado-Ekiti High Court has refused an application filed by former Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, praying for an interim order to restrain the judicial panel of inquiry set up by the government from further sitting pending the hearing of motion for injunction.
Justice Lekan Ogunmoye in a ruling yesterday held that Fayemi’s request for an interim order cannot be granted because the defendants filed a notice of preliminary injunction challenging the competence of the court to hear the substantive suit.
But, Fayemi’s prayer for an accelerated hearing of the case was granted as the court ruled that the substantive suit would now be taken together with the defendant’s preliminary objection on the next adjourned date, July 31.
Defendants in the suit are Governor Ayodele Fayose, the state’s attorney general, House of Assembly, Justice Silas Oyewole (panel chairman), Mr. Gbemiga Adaramola, Mrs. Bolawale Awe, Mr. Idowu Ayenimo, Mr. Omodara Vincent, Mr. Adesoba Oluremi and Mr. Sunday Bamise (panel members). Justice Ogunmoye, who said he had taken a judicial notice of all processes before him, said it had been settled in law what the court considers before granting such application.
The judge held that there was a pending notice of preliminary objection by the defendants in which the competence of the court to hear the substantive matter was being challenged.
Citing many authorities to buttress his position, Justice Ogunmoye, said issue of court’s jurisdiction over any matter was paramount and fundamental to any case at hand, hence it should be determined for its adjudication not to be rendered an exercise in futility.
“I have no power to grant the application for interim injunction before me but justice of the matter demands that it will be given an accelerated hearing. The motion is hereby,” the judge ruled
He adjourned the suit to July 31 for definite hearing.
Fayemi’s counsel, Chief Rafiu Balogun, said the court was fair to both parties in granting defendant’s prayer that the application for interim injunction be refused while at the same time granting his client’s prayer for accelerated hearing of the substantive case.
Defendants’ counsel, Mr. Daniel Alumun, said it was right for the court to consider the preliminary objection, saying the claimant cannot stop a statute from running.