An Ado-Ekiti High Court has rejected an application filed by former Governor Kayode Fayemi, now Minister of Mines and Steel Development, seeking an interim order to restrain the judicial panel of inquiry set up by Ekiti State Government to probe his administration.
Justice Lekan Ogunmoye in a ruling yesterday held that Fayemi’s request for an interim order could not be granted because the defendants had filed a notice of preliminary injunction challenging the competence of the court to hear the substantive suit.
However, Fayemi’s prayer for an accelerated hearing of the case was granted as the court ruled that the substantive case would now be taken together with the defendants’ preliminary objection on the next adjourned date, July 31, 2017.
Ogunmoye said he had taken a judicial notice of all processes filed before him but held that it has been settled in law what the court must consider before granting such application.
He said there was a pending notice of preliminary objection by the defendants in which the competence of the court to hear the substantive matter was being challenged.
The judge, who cited many authorities to buttress his position, held that the issue of court’s jurisdiction over any matter was sacrosanct and fundamental to any case at hand hence, it must be determined so as not to render adjudication an exercise in futility.
He said: “I have no power to grant the application for interim injunction before me but justice of the matter demands that it will be given an accelerated hearing. The motion is hereby refused.”
He subsequently adjourned the case till July 31 for definite hearing. Meanwhile, Fayemi’s counsel, Chief Rafiu Balogun, said the court was fair to both parties in granting the defendants’ prayer that the application for interim injunction be refused while at the same time granting his client’s prayer for accelerated hearing of the substantive case.
Also, the defendants’ counsel, Mr. Daniel Alumun, said it was right for the court to consider the preliminary objection, saying the plaintiff cannot stop a panel of inquiry established by statute from running.
Defendants in the suit are Governor Fayose, Attorney-General, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Justice Silas Oyewole (panel chairman), Mr. Gbenga Adaramola, Mrs. Bolawale Awe, Mr. Idowu Ayenimo, Mr. Omodara Vincent, Mr. Adesoba Oluremi and Mr. Sunday Bamise (panel members).