By Nofisat Marindoti
The State of Osun Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Dr. Ajibola Basiru has urged a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja presided over by Justice Tsoho to declare as having expired by effluxion of time, orders of injunction granted by the court on 4th of December, 2017 in line with Order 26 rule 12 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules, 2009.
This is even as the Commissioner said the court could also discharge the orders on the sundry grounds like absence of jurisdiction, absence of real urgency, suppression of material facts and breach of legal right to fair hearing.
Basiru, who appeared along with Hassan Agbelekale State Counsel, Idrees Mikaheel Abiodun State Counsel, Oghenovo Otemu Esq. and Kafayat Abiola Olajide Esq. made these submissions while moving two applications filed by Osun Government who is the 7th Defendant in a case instituted by three individuals challenging the legality of the creation of Local Council Development Areas in Osun.
Arguing the application filed on 29th of December, 2017, the Attorney General stated that the 7th Defendant had filed, 0n 8th December, 2017, an application to discharge the ex parte order granted on 4th December 2017 but that the court did not hear the application within fourteen days as required by the Rules of Court.
He further argued that by express provision of the Rules, the order ex parte have expired by effluxion of time citing several legal authorities. On the contrary, Chief Robert Clarke, SAN, on behalf of the Plaintiffs argued that the orders made on 4th of December, 2017 were on notice and therefore the 14 day rule does not apply.
Basiru also stated that though the court refused reliefs 1 to 5 of their Motion Ex-parte on 27the December, 2017 but that the Court on 4th December, 2017 resuscitated the prayers and granted the relief 1 to 5 earlier refused.
While replying on points of law, Basiru posited that the position of the Learned Silk for the Plaintiffs in fact supported the argument of the State Government that the court was functus officio having refused the interim orders on 27th December, 2017 and went ahead to still grant the same reliefs on the same application.
He also argued that an order to show cause upon the ex parte application of the Plaintiffs formed part of the hearing of the ex parte application and does not convert the application ex parte to one on notice. Furthermore, that the court granted expressly reliefs 1 to 5 of the motion ex parte as interim orders and made same to be contingent on the hearing and determination of the motion on Notice.
Justice Tsoho, having heard the two applications adjourned the matter till 23th day of January, 2018 for ruling.