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Eight Edo Judges Case: Court Orders Service Of Summons On Obaseki

  • Edo AG cites lack of locus standi as reason for continuation of the suit

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered service of the originating summons on the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki in a suit filed against him and two others by an Edo-born constitutional lawyer, Andrew Emwanta.


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The suit which is challenging the refusal of Obaseki to swear in eight judges whose appointment received the endorsement of the National Judicial Council (NJC) since June 2023, was filed late last year.

At the resumed hearing presided over by Hon. Justice Egwuatu, the lawyer representing Emwanta, Efut Okoi, who led two other lawyers noted that Obaseki has been evading service of the order earlier granted by the judge for him to show cause and the accompanying originating processes. He therefore sought indulgence of the court to move a motion for service by substituted means on Obaseki.

The Judge was constrained to ask the Attorney General of Edo State, Oluwole Uzzi, who was in Court, why the Governor has refused to accept service of the court processes and order. In response, Uzzi apologised and agreed to accept service of the court processes on behalf of the Governor. After the service of the said court documents on the Governor, in open court, via the Attorney General, the presiding Judge then advised the Attorney General to ask his principal the Governor to allow for the settlement of the matter out of court, in order for the state government and the litigant not to wash their dirty linens in public.

He further opined that the matter is one that could be settled out of court if both parties are ready to “give and take”. In response, the Attorney General said that the Governor believes that the State government has a good case and that is why he is in court, representing the state.

He further argued that the Plaintiff in the case lacks locus standi, because he was not one of those screened and confirmed for appointment by the NJC. In response, the Plaintiff’s counsel noted that his client Mr Emwanta is a lawyer whose sole interest in instituting the case is to ensure that the judiciary is not thrown into ridicule by the failure of the Governor to swear in 8 Judges, whose appointments were recommended by the NJC close to one year ago. The matter was adjourned to the 29th of April for continuation of hearing.

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