The names of two dead persons have been struck off from the list of twenty-three petitioners by a Port Harcourt High Court, in the case between Ibrahim Umar and twenty-three other against the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressive Congress, APC.
Justice Godwin Ollor, the presiding Judge, struck off the two names based on an application by Counsel to the Plaintiffs.
Henry Bello, Counsel to the Plaintiffs had filed an application praying the court to strike off the two names from the Plaintiffs’ list who are already deceased: the 11th and 17th claimants Steve Amadi and Jonathan Nkpome.
Recall that the Plaintiffs had approached the court to enforce the Supreme Court’s judgement with respect to the suspended APC Congress in Rivers State.
Counsel to the Claimants further filed an application praying the court for an extension of time to reply to all processes on point of law and file a further affidavit for an interlocutory injunction.
He explained that the extension of time is necessary as he was engrossed in Election Petition matter which made him not to give full attention to the matter.
Counsel to the Defendants, Tuduru Ede, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria opposed the application and requested the court to award the sum of two hundred thousand naira against the Plaintiffs’ Counsel for extending the restricted timeline for the case.
Justice Ollor, however, awarded the sum of nine thousand naira as cost in favour of counsel to APC, Tuduru Ede, as against the two hundred thousand naira demanded by the Defendant’s Counsel.
Justice Ollor stressed that the cost is a penalty against the Plaintiffs’ Counsel for not working in line with the abridged timeline for the case.
The Judge adjourned the case to 20th November for ruling on an application for joinder by other members of APC who are beneficiaries of the judgement of the Supreme Court.
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Speaking to our correspondent, Tina Amanda, Counsel to the Plaintiffs, Henry Bello, said the court has agreed with them as the unnecessary dust raised by the APC regarding the inclusion of names of the deceased in the matter has been laid to rest.
He stressed that the matter will no longer be Ibrahim Umar and twenty-three others, but Ibrahim Umar and twenty-one others.
On his part, one of the counsels to APC, Chimenim Jerome, said they opposed the application for the striking out of the names of the deceased by filing a counter-affidavit, as they are of the view that the Plaintiffs having died and buried long before the suit was instituted, the application should not be granted because it goes to the root of the suit and its fundamentals.
He also affirmed that they are also opposing the joinder application of the seventeen persons in the matter