The Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Honourable Kola Oluwawole, may be in for trouble, as the Federal High Court in Ado Ekiti has ordered him to appear before it unfailingly on November 24.
The court wants him to explain to it why he refused to obey its order to swear in Mr Toyin Obayemi as the lawmaker for Ado Constituency 1.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo, who gave the order on Thursday, expressed his displeasure at the absence of the Speaker insisting that he (Oluwawole), as the head of the institution that makes laws in the state, must show example by obeying the law.
The jurist added that the new order was Oluwawole’s last chance to clear himself of the alleged contempt or risks being jailed for contempt.
The courtroom turned into a dramatic arena when the hearing of the contempt charge filed by Obayemi against the Speaker for his refusal to inaugurate the latter as a legislator, in line with the judgment of the court delivered on July 4.
The Director of Civil Litigation in the Ministry of Justice, Mr Sunday Bamise, who appeared for the Speaker, hinged his absence on what he called “a pressing state matter,” saying it was not in the character of his client to disregard the court.
Counsel to the Applicant (Obayemi), Olayinka Sokoya, said the non-service of form 49 does not preclude Oluwawole from appearing before the court, but Justice Taiwo insisted that due process must be followed.
Bamise’s explanation that the matter was on appeal did not convince the judge who replied that there was no stay of judgment filed. He said that the situation made the judgment of the court subsist.
The Judge said: “All I want is that the order of this court must be obeyed by the Speaker. Tell him that he must appear before me next week and applicant’s counsel must serve everything that must be served today.
“He is the Speaker who should be warned to obey the order of the court and since the 1st Respondent has been served with the Certificate of Return, he must obey the order to swear in the Applicant.
“Majority of our lawmakers are not lawyers but the lawyers among them have turned themselves to politicians. The Speaker must appear at the next date of adjournment; people responsible for churning out laws must be above board”.
Justice Taiwo subsequently adjourned the case to November 24 after the two lawyers had agreed on the date for Speaker Oluwawole to appear and offer explanation on why he had refused to obey the order of the court.
Court Summons Ekiti State House Of Speaker Over Refusal To Obey Order
Reviewed by Link Naija