Justice Olorunfemi Richard of the Kogi State High Court has expressed the determination of the court in ensuring expeditious dispensation of the case challenging the impeachment of Elder Simon Achuba as Kogi deputy governor by the State Assembly.
He gave the assurance on Friday while ruling on an application as to whether the originating summons brought by the claimant in the matter could be taken concurrently with preliminary objections filed by the defendant.
Lead counsel to the claimant (Achuba), Jibrin Okutepa had at the last sitting argued that apart from the application for joinder by the Clerk of the assembly which should be taken separately, all other preliminary objections applications by the defendant counsel should be taken side by side with the originating summons given the need for expeditious dispensation of the matter and in the interest of justice for his client.
But counsel to the defendant opposed that and said that their preliminary objections should first be taken and thereafter, the application for joinder before hearing of the originating summons should begin.
In his ruling on the application at the resumed sitting on Friday, the presiding judge held that all preliminary objections would be taken alongside hearing of the originating summon.
He held that given the time-bound nature of the matter and the need for expeditious dispensation of justice, there was need for counsels in the matter to ensure prompt filing of all processes and avoid all delay tactics that could slow down the proceedings of the court in respect of the matter.
According to him, the life of the present government in the state ends on January 27, 2020, hence there was need for the matter at hand to be decided timely in the interest of justice.
He therefore adjourned the matter to December 13 to take the application for joinder by the Clerk of Kogi assembly and hearing of the originating summons.
Reacting to the ruling, one of the counsels to the claimant, Sam Unwuchola Esq expressed gratitude for the ruling.
Achuba had approached the court via an originating summons to challenge his impeachment by the state Assembly and subsequent swearing in of Edward Onoja as deputy governor.
He prayed the court to declare the impeachment as illegal, null and void and that he should be restored as deputy governor with all his rights and privileges.