By Demola Akinyemi
A Kwara State High Court, yesterday, ruled that it has not discontinued the case in the West African Examinations Council, WAEC, certificate scandal suit by one Abraham Adekunle, claimant, against the state governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.
Also, another person, Olusola Olaseinde, sought to be joined as co-claimant in the suit challenging authenticity of the secondary school certificate submitted to Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, by Abdulrazaq.
An attempt to draw the attention of the court to a notice of withdrawal of the suit challenging the authenticity of the WAEC certificate of Abdulrazaq was stalled as court said it was not aware of the application of discontinuance of the case.
Meanwhile, Abdulrazaq, through his counsel, Lawal Jimoh, argued that the claimant had discontinued with the case.
He sought to tender a copy of notice of discontinuance earlier filed by the claimant on May 15 but counsel to the claimant, Oludele Lawrence, said he was not aware of his client’s intention to discontinue the case.
The presiding judge, Adenike Akinpelu, however, ruled in line with the argument of the counsel to the claimant that the case subsists and not yet discontinued.
The court then proceeded to the application for joinder by Olaseinde, the notice of which was filed on June 10.
Counsel to Olaseinde, Olawale Babalola, contended that since seven days have lapsed after the filing of the notice, the defendant was out of time to respond to the notice.
Counsel to the defendant, however, argued that in computing seven days the day of service was to be excluded making yesterday inclusive of the seven days.
Justice Akinpelu ruled that June 17 was inclusive of the seven days and held that the defendant was still within the time to respond to the notice
She then adjourned the matter to June 26 for further mentioning.
However, addressing journalists after court proceeding, counsel to the defendant, Lawal Jimoh, said he was stunned that the claimant lawyer denied knowledge of notice of discontinuation filed in respect of the case.
He noted that the litigant reserved the right to withdraw from his case without the consent of his lawyer.
“The claimant has filed a notice of withdrawal since May 15, 2019. By law, the case is technically dead on that day.”