By Dennis Agbo
ABAKALIKIâ€”A Ebonyi State High Court sitting in Abakaliki,Â has for the second time asked the Ebonyi stateÂ government to reinstate the sacked Auditor General for Local Governments in the state, Mr. Gabriel Nwonu, whom the courtÂ had previously ordered back to his job.
But the Ebonyi state government, had through its counsel, Mrs. Patience Otozi, asked the court for a stay of execution of the judgment delivered in favour of Mr. Nwonu.
The application for stay,Â followed the courtâ€™s judgment, orderingÂ the state government to reinstate the Auditor General for Local Government,Â whom the court held was illegallyÂ removed by the then state governmentÂ ofÂ Dr. Sam Egwu in 2005.
Ebonyi state is contending that an application for stay is an equitable remedy that is granted at the discretion of the court, and that every application for stay is to be treated and decided on its peculiar facts and circumstances as decided cases in other matter only serve as guide and cannot apply in the exercise of courtâ€™s discretion.
However, the trial judge,Â Justice Henry Njoku, in his ruling, struck out the application on the ground that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain anyÂ further application whatsoever over the matter, since appeal had been entered before the Appeal Court, Enugu.
â€œThe issue as presented before this court and from the facts in the application is whether this court can compel the respondent to reply to the application of the applicants or should go ahead to rule in the absence of the respondentâ€™s reply,â€ the court said.