….Court says Defendants must react to new issues raised by former Speaker
Hearing could not proceed before an Ekiti State High Court on Wednesday in the suit filed by the former Speaker, Rt. Hon. Gboyega Aribisogan, because of fresh issues he raised in his reply to Counter-Affidavit by the Defendants.
The Court subsequently adjourned the suit till February 20 to allow the Defendants respond to new issues raised by the former Speaker in the case.
Justice Adekunle Adeleye who adjourned to that date at the resumed hearing of the suit on Wednesday said the Defendants should be given an opportunity to respond to new facts in the Counter-Affidavit and written address filed by the Claimant.
Defendants in the suit are the Ekiti State House of Assembly (1st), the Clerk (2nd) and the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Olubunmi Adelugba (3rd).
Counsel to the Claimant, Mr. Stanley Imhanruoh, withdrew an application he had filed to set the matter down for hearing which was granted by the presiding judge, Justice Adeleye.
Imhanruoh, on behalf of Aribisogan, had filed a reply to Counter-Affidavit in opposition to the Originating Summons and an affidavit of service of the process.
Counsel to the Defendants, Chief Rafiu Balogun told the court that he was served a reply to the counter affidavit from the Claimant Monday afternoon which contain new allegations that he would have to respond to on behalf of his clients.
“We were served yesterday with their Counter-Affidavit which contains new facts and new issues of law which we will have to react to and by the rules of the court and settled position of the law, we have to react,” Balogun said.
But Justice Adeleye said the reply affidavit just filed by the Claimant was not ripe for hearing as the Defendants are covered by law to reply.
The judge said: “Your application is not ripe for hearing, I don’t want to run a kangaroo court. If you served them yesterday and he has raised observations that you have raised new issues he would have to react to.
“Ordinarily, the other party should be given the opportunity to react. You (Imhanruoh) that is delaying yourself by introducing new issues.
“Next time, serve on time so that the other side can reply on time. Your failure in serving them on time is your own problem.”
Justice Adeleye also reiterated his commitment to be fair to parties in the suit urging them to cooperate with the Court to hear and conclude the suit as soon as possible.