by crossriverwatch admin
The hearing of the suit filed by the All Progressives Congress, APC against its exclusion from participation in the Local Government Elections in Cross River state scheduled for the 21st September 2013 continued before Honorable Justice Ofem Ikpi Ofem of the High Court of Cross River State of Nigeria today.
At today’s hearing, the 1st Defendant (CROSIEC) vehemently and stoutly opposed the application of the Claimant (APC) to withdraw the names of APGA, NCP and PPA from the case.
Counsels to CROSIEC, Barrister Ikoi Ikona and Barrister Ama Ekpo submitted that the Claimant cannot ask for the withdrawal of the names of APGA, NCP and PPA in view of the fact that there is no evidence that they had been served with the Originating Summons.
Counsels to APC led by Barristers Matthew Ojua; Eyo Nsa; Osim, Tony Odey; Leo Ekpeyong Oku; Fidelis Dibang, Okoi Obono Obla and Ogboriku Odey on the other hand submitted that the Claimant has the unfettered right to withdraw the names of these defendants from the case in view of the fact that the Claimant is no longer interested in maintaining the action against them.
In a brief ruling, Justice Ofem held that there is no law that provides that a party must sue a defendant if such a party expresses an intention not to continue with an action against an adversary. Accordingly, Justice Ofem ordered the names of APGA, NCP and PPA struck out of the case. Earlier APC had applied for an order striking out the name of PDP from the suit.
The application was not opposed by the Counsel to PDP, Barrister Bath Izato. After the ruling, Counsel to APC sought to move a Motion for interlocutory injunction restraining CROSIEC from conducting the elections scheduled for 21/9/2013.
But lead counsel for the Defendant, Barrister Ikona objected to the hearing of the motion on the ground that since the Court had earlier struck out the names of APGA, NCP and PPA the Claimant ought to have amended processes filed.
The lead Counsel to APC, Barrister Ojua urged the Court to dismiss the objection because there is no provisions under the Rules of Court requiring an amendment of processes after the name of a defendant had been struck out.
Again the Court ruled in favor of the APC on the grounds that Order 15 Rule 18 and Order 24 of the High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules of Cross River State cited by Counsel to CROSIEC does not apply.
The Court therefore ruled that since Defendant’s counsel did not respond with an affidavit to the issues raised in the motion for injunction filed by APC within the seven days that the rules allow, it means there is no intention to object the motion and Defendant’s counsel will only be allowed to respond on points to the court on why the court should not grant the injunction.
The matter was adjourned to Monday September 16, 2013 for further hearing.
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