by crossriverwatch admin
The fate of the local government elections in Cross River State scheduled for Saturday the 21st September 2013 be will known on Friday the 20th September 2013 when the High Court, Calabar presided over by Honourable Justice Ofem Ikpi Ofem will rule on the notice of Preliminary Objection filed by CROSIEC challenging the jurisdiction of the Court to hear the suit filed by APC over the decision of CROSIEC to exclude it from participating in the elections.
This morning arguments were canvassed by both parties in Court. The legal team of CROSIEC led by the Attorney General of Cross River State, Mr. Attah Ochinke suffered an embarrassing interlude when it was discovered in the course of adoption that the Written Address filed in support of CROSIEC’s Notice of Preliminary Objection had two versions.
The written address in the Court’s file has four issues formulated for determination by CROSIEC whereas the one served on APC has five Issues.
After the Attorney General had adopted the written address and the reply address, he ran into difficulty when he wanted to argue on whether or not the case filed by APC disclosed a reasonable cause of Action.
This elicited an objection from the legal team of APC led by Barristers Matthew Ojua, Okoi Obono-Obla; Osim and Dibang who pointed out that there were two versions of the written address.
They pointed out that while the written address filed by CROSIEC and served on APC has an issue on non disclosure of a reasonable cause of action of the case filed by APC, the one in the Court’s file did not have.
The Court upheld the objection of APC and ordered CROSIEC to sort out the mix up. The matter was then stood down for about 25 minutes.
When the court resumed, there was consensus by both parties that the written address in the Court’s file which was filed by CROSIEC should be regarded as the correct version.
After the Attorney General adopted the correct written address, his attempt to argue on the issue of non disclosure of a reasonable cause of action was again objected to by the APC legal team.
In his reply to the objection, the Attorney General maintained that since the issue borders on jurisdiction he can raise and canvass argument on it.
The Court in a short ruling held that parties should just adopt their respective written addresses and leave out the arguments.
After the Attorney General concluded his adoption, the lead counsel for APC adopted APC’s written address and invited the court to dismiss the Notice of Preliminary Objection after applying that the Court strike out the reply address of CROSIEC for violating Order 21 Rule 1 (4) of the High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2008.
The Court then adjourned the case to 20th September 2013 for ruling.
Earlier the Court had adjourned the sister case to tomorrow the 19th September 2013 for argument of the Notice of Preliminary Objection filed by CROSIEC challenging the Court’s jurisdiction.
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