The court relief given to the embattled National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus which reinstated him as the party’s National Chairman has been vacated by the same court.
The judge of a high court in Kebbi State who gave the initial order, Nusirat Umar said on Thursday that the lawyer to Secondus intentionally hid crucial facts on the matter which led her to grant the exparte order in a suit marked KB/AC/M.170/2021 which restored Secondus at the PDP National Chairman.
Naija News recalls she gave the order on August 26, 2021, after a Rivers State High Court had on August 23, barred Secondus from parading himself as the national chairman of the PDP.
However, delivering ruling on Thursday in another suit marked KB/HC/M.191/2021, which was instituted by Ibeawuchi Ernest Alex and four others, Umar vacated her previous order, noting that the lawyer gave false information that made her grant the exparte order in the first place.
In making the u-turn, she blamed and chastised the lawyer that represented Secondus, saying she acted in a manner unfit of a legal practitioner of such status.
She observed that having reconsidered the facts of the case, her court lacked the jurisdiction to hear and determine the previous matter.
“I equally agree that Kebbi state high court has no jurisdiction to hear and determine a matter that has been filed and determined in any high court in Nigeria, reason being it is a court of co-ordinate jurisdiction,” she said.
“Furthermore, I also agree that the claimants’/respondents’ counsel failed to disclose to the court the true subject matter of this matter, namely the suspension of the first defendant, prince Uche Secondus, from the membership of the second defendant (Peoples Democratic Party) by ward 5, Ikuru town, Andoni local government area of Rivers state
“There is no doubt that the court was misled by the failure of the claimants’/respondents’ counsel to disclose the true facts to the court which necessitated the court granting the ex parte order on 26/8/2021.
“This situation created by the claimants’/respondents’ counsel caused unnecessary embarrassment to the Nigerian judiciary. It is important to state that jurisdiction is very fundamental to the matter adjudication. Whatever proceedings conducted by the court is null and void no matter how well the proceeding has been conducted.
“I cannot end this ruling without commenting on the attitude of the claimants’/respondents’ counsel, a senior lawyer, who has been practising for many years and who is supposed to be a minister in the temple of justice engaging in misleading the court and being economical with the true fact of the case. These acts are condemnable.
“Flowing from the above, I entirely agree with the submissions of the applicant’s counsel that the ex parte order which was granted by this court on 26/8/2021 ought to be set aside, even by the Kebbi State High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2017, particularly under Order 39 Rules 3 (3) which provides ‘an order of injunction made upon an application ex parte shall abate after seven days’.
“Generally, the court lacks jurisdiction to hear and determine the following: Motion no KB/HC/M.170/2021, substantive suit no KB/HC/22/2021. I hereby set aside the order ex parte application granted on the 26/08/2021 in motion no KB/HC/M.170/2021.
“I equally strike out motion on notice no KB/HC/M.170/2021 and the substantive suit no KB/HC/22/2021 for lack of jurisdiction.”
It will be recalled that worried by the spate of conflicting exparte orders by courts of same jurisiction, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad had summoned some state chief judges over the orders emanating from their courts.
Naija News understands the Kebbi CJ was included in the summoning though the names of the actual judges were not revealed.
After Monday’s meeting with the CJN, three judges were ordered to appear before the National Judicial Council (NJC) for possible disciplinary action.
This article was originally published on Naija News