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Lagos Assembly Vs Fashola: court renews order for restraint

By Abdulwahab Abdulah
Justice Opeyemi Oke of an Ikeja High court Wednesday renewed an order restraining the Lagos state House of Assembly from proceeding on its probe of the allegation of financial impropriety raised against the state Governor, Raji  Fashola, SAN, by a group ‘True Face of Lagos’, just as the Lawmakers promised amicable resolution of the dispute.

At the resumed hearing of a fresh motion filed by a Lagos based journalist,  Mr. Richard Akinnola, the state Assembly made a fresh appearance as it replaced its earlier counsel, Mr. Festus Keyamo with a new lawyer, Mr. Sola  Oludipe, who told the court that the parties in the suit are one family who are at the vanguard of improving Lagos state.

Mr. Oludipe who pleaded the court to grant the parties in the suit a short adjournment to enable the Lawmakers respond to the motion filed by Akinnola, also told Justice Oke that there was a move to resolve the matter amicably.

Justice Oke had on May 4 restrained a seven-man Ad-hoc committee set up by the Lagos State House of Assembly to probe the allegations of financial impropriety leveled against the administration of Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) by a group, ‘The True Face of Lagos’. The court also restrained the panel and its agents from proceeding with the investigation pending the determination of the motion on notice.

The judge had granted an interim injunction, following an ex -parte application by Akinnola, on the ground that proceeding on the probe will prejudice his appeal at the Court of Appeal over the judgment of Justice Habeeb  Abiru who restrained the Assembly from going ahead with the probe on  March 16.

Mr. Oludipe from the Lagos state Multi Door Court House, who represented the House said: “As much as we appreciated parties involved, they are members of the same family, we intend to put up our defence, we seek a short adjournment to enable us do what is necessary in this matter.

“We are looking at the possibilities of talking to parties, because the people of Lagos State will be most affected in this matter.”

Responding, Mr. Bamidele Aturu, who represented the claimant, appreciated the move made by the lawyer, asking the court to direct parties not to do anything that would prejudice the matter.

According to him, he is well disposed to reconciliation in a matter that will affect the people of Lagos State, but maintained that Order 39, Rule 7 of the High Court of Lagos Civil procedure Rules, prescribed that when a court has ordered a status quo via an interim, parties should comply forthwith.

Justice Oke therefore noted that the order still in force. She therefore adjourned the matter till June 23, 2010 for report of settlement.


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