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Court Fines LP N50,000 As Party Withdraws Suit Against Rivers Lawmakers

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Justice James Omotosho of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Monday dismissed a suit filed by the Labour Party (LP) against defected lawmakers in Rivers State.

In the suit, the party was seeking the order of the Court to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct fresh elections into the Rivers State House of Assembly to fill the seats of the defected lawmakers.

INEC on its part, through its lawyer, Barrister Victor Giwa, a human rights activist, filed a preliminary objection praying the court to dismiss the suit for being frivolous and incompetent.

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Giwa described the suit as an abuse of court process, and also called on the court to decline jurisdiction in the case while asserting that the Plaintiff lacked the locus standi and territorial jurisdiction to institute the action.

He argued that there is a pending case currently ongoing at the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt Judicial Division with Suit No: FHC/PH/CS/25/2024 before Hon. Justice E.A Obile with the same parties concerning the same subject matter which was filed earlier in February 2024.

Shortly after INEC filed its objection, the Labour Party approached the court to withdraw the suit.

In its ruling, Justice Omotosho held, “After hearing F. I. Adariku Esq. holding the brief of the Kehinde Edun for the Plaintiff applying to withdraw the suit and urging the court to strike out the case. A. S. Adisa Esq. for the 29th Defendant (INEC) not opposing but seeking for cost of N500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira).

“It is hereby ordered as follows: that this matter having been withdrawn is hereby struck out. That the cost of 50,000.00 (Fifty Thousand Naira) is awarded against the Plaintiff in favour of the 29th Defendant.”

Apart from INEC and Governor Siminalayi Fubara, other defendants in the matter are Honourables Dumle Maol, Major Jack, Franklin Uchenna Nwabochi, Christopher Kagbang Ofiks, Azeru Opara, Enemi Alabo George, Granville Tekenari Wellington, Ngbar Bernard, John Dominic Iderima, Queen Uwuma Tony Williams, Loolo Isaiah Opuende and Abbey Peter.

Others are Honourables Igwe – Obey Aforii, Justina Emeji, Ignatius Onwuka Defendants, Chimezie Nwankwo, Lemchi Prince Nyeche, Barile Nwakoh, Emilia Lucky Amadi, Nkemjika Ezekwe, Davios Arnold Oxobiriari, Nwankwo Sylvanus, Gerald Oforii and Wami Solomon.


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