The applicants that instituted a suit before the Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo, for an order to compel the National Assembly to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari following some alleged constitutional breaches have accused the President of attempting to scuttle the court process.
The applicants: Mr Kanmi Ajibola, who is also the chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ilesa branch, and a human rights activist, Mr Suleiman Adeniyi said this in Osogbo on Tuesday following the adjournment of the case to November 26, 2018.
The case which came up last on July 4 came up on Tuesday before Justice Maureen Onyetenu but she adjourned it to November 26 following the non-service of the notice of preliminary objection to the applicants by counsel for the President.
The President’s counsel, Mr Solomon Ogunlowo, told the court that he just discovered that the applicants had not been served the notice of preliminary objection to the reliefs being sought by the applicants.
Ogunlowo said other respondents in the case had been served but regretted that the applicants had not been served while requesting an adjournment.
Counsel for the applicants, Mr Samuel Echeonwu and counsel for the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Felix Ukaegbu, did not raise any objection to the adjournment which the judge granted in her ruling.
But speaking with journalists after the court proceedings, the NBA chairman said the non-service of the applicants might have been an attempt to scuttle the court process.
Ajibola said, “The matter came up in July this year and they were served in July. Ordinarily, they have seven days after service to respond to the processes served on them.
“But what happened in court today showed that they failed to respond within the required time by the law, maybe they did that in a way to scuttle the process, but it doesn’t stop at that.
“They ought to have commissioned bailiff to serve us but instead they offered to serve personally and having undertaken to do that, they failed to serve us.
“Even the service copy they are supposed to serve us today, they said it was not in their file. Because of that, we couldn’t make progress in court today.”
The counsel for the President said the non-service of the applicants was not intentional but was an omission which he said his client regretted.
Ogunlowo said, “The reason for non-service was that the litigation officer that came to file the processes undertook to effect the service on all parties in the matter. Unfortunately, she served all other parties but she didn’t serve the applicants.”