April 29, 2016

Lagos judge begins case afresh after delivering judgment

Lagos judge begins case afresh after delivering judgment

NEW APPEAL COURT JUDGES: Cross section of the newly appointed Justices of the Court of Appeal, during their swearing-in ceremony by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, at the Supreme Court in Abuja, yesterday. Photo: Gbemiga Olamikan.

By Innocent Anaba

There was a mild drama yesterday at a Lagos State High Court sitting in Igbosere before Justice I. Harrison, when the judge reversed herself in a judgment she had earlier delivered in a civil case involving a Lagos family and started hearing the case afresh.

The judge while reversing herself insisted that her action was in conformity with the provisions of Order 30 Rule 4 (2) of High Court Rules 2012, which she said empowered her to set aside any judgment obtained where any party did not appear at the trial upon terms as the court might deem fit.

Claimants in the matter, Mr. Muyiwa Ojebiyi and Mrs. Adenike Ayebiwe, who are siblings, had in October 2010 through their lawyer, Okokon Ita, commenced the suit.

However, throughout the pendency of the suit, the defendants including Mrs. Rebecca Ajiboje (for herself and on behalf of the children of Mrs. Funmilayo Ojebiyi), Mrs. Adekemi Alade (for herself and on behalf of the children of Late Mrs. Taiwo Ojebiyi), neither filed appearance nor any document indicating their opposition to the suit, despite evidence of being personally served.

Meanwhile, having given evidence and adopted their written address, Justice Harrison on February 16, 2015 delivered judgment in the suit.

Amongst others, she ordered the property of the deceased, Mr. Stephen Tella Ojebiyi, situated at 33, Sounde Street, Ijeshatedo, Surulere, Lagos; 30, Ojowore Street, Mushin, Lagos and 120, Railway Line, Mushin, Lagos (the subject matter of the suit) be shared among the children of the deceased according to their respective mothers.