A Federal High Court, Abuja, has warned lawyers to the Department of State Services and the Leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, against truncating proceedings in the next adjourned date.
Justice Binta Nyako gave the warning following the Wednesday’s proceeding that could not go on due to an oral application by DSS counsel, Idowu Awo, seeking for more time to respond to a further affidavit served on him by Kanu’s lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, in the open court.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Kanu, through his team of lawyers, had sued the DSS and its Director General as 1st and 2nd respondents in the matter.
Kanu, in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/ 2341/2022, prayed the court for permission to apply for an order of mandamus to compel the DSS to allow him have unhindered access to his medical doctor, among others.
The court had, on Feb. 1, granted Kanu, the permission to apply for an order of mandamus he sought after an ex-parte motion moved by Ozekhome to the effect.
But in a preliminary objection filed by the DSS, the security outfit urged the court to dismiss the suit for want of jurisdiction.
It argued that there was a subsisting judgement of a sister court delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo on June 3, 2022 in suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/1585/2021 between Kanu and DG of DSS and two others wherein the court dealt substantially with the issue of allowing the IPOB leader access to his personal physician.
It said the instant suit was similar to the earlier one and that Kanu had filed an appeal against the judgment.
Upon resumed hearing on the matter, Ozekhome informed the court that he had responded to the DSS notice of preliminary objection.
After Awo applied for an order for the extension of time to file their processes, Ozekhome also prayed for a consequential order deeming their further affidavit as duly filed and they were granted by the court.
But Awo, who said he was just being served with the further affidavit, said he would need more time to study the document whether fresh facts had been raised.
He said the document was 60-paragraph but embedded in 15-paragraph.
“It is also accompanied with a judgment from Abia State as exhibit.
“In the cisrcunstance, we will be asking for a short day,” he said.
Ozekhome, however, said that in the counter affidavit filed by the security agency, they alleged that Kanu jumped bail.
“We have to respond to that circumstances under which he left Nigeria and those facts had been validated by Abia Court in Umuahia,” he responded.
The senior lawyer said they were forced to serve the further affidavit on Tuesday because the DSS served them on Friday.
He said the security outfit was in the habit of serving them with their processes late to delay hearing.
Justice Nyako, while delivering a short ruling for an adjournment, said she would not tolerate any act that might delay proceedings any longer.
“I will not allow this case to be truncated in the next adjourned date.
“There must be an end to exchange of processes,” she said.
The judge adjourned the matter until May 22 for hearing.