By Nwabueze Okonkwo
ONITSHA—Hearing is expected to continue on December 8, this year at the Federal High Court sitting in Awka, Anambra State, presided over by Justice Bature Gafai in the N200 million suit filed by an Igweship aspirant of Adazi-Nnukwu community in Anaocha Local Government Area of the state, Ichie Emmanuel Ikechukwu Chukwuma and his elder brother,Chief Kenneth Chukwuma, against the President-General of Adazi-Nnukwu Town Development Union, ATDU, Chief Benedict Enemuo; the town crier, Jude Obianisi and the registered trustees of ATDU.
When the case was called up for hearing, counsel to the respondents, Emeka Ofodile (SAN), filed a motion before the court and served the applicants, asking the court to strike out their written address for lack of merit. Counsel to the applicants, Nnamdi Ibegbu (SAN), said he would file his counter motion to enable the matter progress on the next adjourned date.
The court therefore gave the December 8 date to enable the applicants file their counter affidavit , to enable the court take the whole case at a time.
In the suit No. FHC/AWK/CS/344/15, brought by the applicants under the fundamental rights enforcement procedure) rules, 2009 made by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, pursuant to Section 42 (3) (now Section 46 (3) of the constitution of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the applicants said they were bringing the motion pursuant to Order II, Rules 1, 2, 3, & 4 of the fundamental rights (enforcement procedure) Rules 2009, Sections 40 and 46 of the constitution of Nigeria , 1999 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.
In the motion, the applicants are seeking a declaration of the court that the announcement made by the respondents and their agents on September 8, 9, 10 and 11, 2015 respectively excommunicating them and their family members from participating in all programmes, activities and interacting with fellow Adazi-Nnukwu persons in any manner whatsoever is unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect.
The applicants, therefore, sought an injunction perpetually restraining the respondents, their servants, agents, privies and otherwise from further excommunicating them and any member of their family and imposing such punishment on members of Adazi Nnukwu found communicating or transacting any business with them or having any contact socially, economically, politically, religiously and otherwise with them or their family members or further infringing in whatsoever manner or form upon the fundamental rights to peaceful assembly and association of the applicants as infringement of their fundamental rights.
They also sought for a public apology by the respondents in Adazi Nnukwu town and by publication in a widely read newspaper.