The Court of Appeal in Abuja has rejected the application by the Ondo State House of Assembly and its Speaker to expedite the hearing of their appeal challenging a Federal High Court order that halted the planned impeachment of Deputy Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
According to The Nation, a three-member panel of the appellate court determined that the House of Assembly’s application to shorten the hearing of its appeal lacked merit in a ruling issued on Monday.
The court found that the applicant failed to demonstrate exceptional circumstances that would justify granting such an application.
On October 20, the Assembly filed an application to shorten the time for the respondents to file their briefs.
It also filed a separate application to extend the time for compiling and transmitting the record of appeal.
During a hearing in the case on November 3, Aiyedatiwa’s lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, objected to the application to extend time for the compilation of the record.
Adegboruwa argued, among other points, that the court’s rules do not allow the appellants to seek an extension of time on behalf of the court’s registrar, whose primary responsibility is to compile the record.
He added that the appellants’ option was to independently compile the record.
Following the objection raised by Aiyedatiwa’s lawyer, the Assembly withdrew its application.
Also on November 3, the appellants proceeded to argue their application to shorten the time for the respondents to file their briefs of argument, an application to which Aiyedatiwa’s lawyer also objected.
Adegboruwa argued that the appellants’ decision to withdraw the earlier application to extend time to compile the record of appeal had the consequence of placing the appeal under the normal course of events as defined by the Rules of the court.
He added that given this development, there was no basis for seeking to shorten the time, a position that the appellate court upheld in its ruling yesterday.
The appeal filed on October 3 by the Ondo Assembly and its Speaker disputes the orders issued ex parte by Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja on September 26 restraining the Ondo State Governor, its Chief Judge, the House of Assembly, its Speaker, and others from proceeding with their planned impeachment of Aiyedatiwa until the determination of a pending motion on notice for interlocutory injunctions.