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Court fixes October 10 for ruling on PDP faction's suit

25 September 2013, 16:33

Ikeja - An Ikeja High Court on Wednesday fixed October 10 to rule on whether or not it had jurisdiction to hear a suit by the Alhaji Kawu Baraje's faction of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Justice Oludotun Adefope-Okojie fixed the date after hearing arguments filed by parties on the preliminary notice of objection to the suit.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the faction had filed the suit against the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, on September 1.

The other claimants in the suit are - Dr Sam Jaja and Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.

The faction had asked the court for an interlocutory injunction restraining Tukur and three others from parading themselves as PDP National Executive Committee members.

Other defendants in the case are - Uche Secondus, Deputy National Chairman; Dr Kema Chikwe, Women Leader and Olisa Metuh, the National Publicity Secretary.

The defendants had on September 18 asked the court to strike out the suit for want of jurisdiction.

They had also argued that the writs of summons did not comply with the mandatory requirements of Section 97 of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act because they were not endorsed.

However, the claimants' counsel, Robert Emukpaeruo, on Wednesday urged the court to dismiss the defendants’ preliminary notices of objection.

Emukpaeruo argued that the court had jurisdiction to entertain the suit contrary to the objections being raised by the defendants.

He said: “The physical powers given to a court to enforce its orders is what forms jurisdiction.”

“As long as a court can enforce its orders, the court can exercise jurisdiction.”

“The mere fact that the defendants are not resident in Lagos State does not mean that the court does not have jurisdiction over the matter.”

Emukpaeruo argued that the writs of summons were endorsed for service outside Lagos State.
He said the endorsements had brought the defendants within the jurisdiction of the court.

“On these two grounds, I urge your lordship to overrule the preliminary objection so that we can go into the substantive suit,” Emukpaeruo said.
Responding, Tukur's counsel, Dr Amaechi Nwaiwu (SAN), argued that Emukpaeruo’s submissions on the issue of jurisdiction were misconceived.

“The issue of physical effectiveness is a post judgment matter. The main issue is the competence of your lordship to adjudicate on this matter,” Nwaiwu said.

He argued that the writs of summons were not properly endorsed under the Sheriff and Civil Process Act.

Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), counsel to Secondus, Chikwe and Metuh, also adopted Nwaiwu's submissions.

He urged the court to dismiss the suit, stressing that its jurisdiction was circumscribed by law.

-    NAN


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