2nd July, 2010
Legislators elected on the platform of the Action Congress (AC) in the Osun State House of Assembly have dragged authorities of the legislature before an Osogbo High Court, seeking an order to declare the screening of members of the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSSIEC), while an appeal was pending in court as incompetent, null and void and of no effect.
In suit number HOS/M70/2010, members of the AC caucus led by Honourable Timothy Owoeye are seeking the order of the court to declare the screening of the Chairman and members of OSSIEC while the appeal in suit number HOS/M41/2009 was still pending as an abuse of court process.
In the originating summon dated 29, June, 2010, the AC lawmakers also want the court to determine whether â€œthe filing of a stay of execution of a judgment by a party against whom the judgment is given has not put the judgment in abeyance until the ruling on the application is delivered.
They also want the court to determine whether an appeal properly filed at the High Court registry for onward transmission to the Court of Appeal could be properly terminated at the same high court registry by mere filing of notice of withdrawal of Appeal.
In the summon which was filed by Mr. Kolapo Alimi for the plaintiffs, Owoeye, the Minority Leader, averred that on 27 March, 2010, an attempt was made to serve him a notice of withdrawal of appeal at the premises of the state House of Assembly which he rejected upon perusal which showed that his name was not written on it.
On March 30, 2010, Owoeye claimed that members of the House of Assembly were served with the list and the curriculum vitae of nominated chairman and members of the OSSIEC.
Retired Justice Titus Oyeyemi Adewuyi, Chiefs Remi Alabi, Bamidele Isola Ezekiel Ogunjuyigbe, Adebisi Gbolagade, Razak Adegbite and Surveyor Akinboye Ogunola were presented to the lawmakers as members of OSSIEC.
He also claimed that his advice to the Assembly not to violate the law by screening the persons named on the list while the appeal was pending in court was overruled and disregarded by the Speaker, Mr. Adejare Bello who brought the named persons into the chambers for screening.
The Minority Leader also claimed in his 15-paragraph affidavit in support of the originating summon that he and other members of the AC caucus staged a walk-outÂ from the floor of the parliament.
Among other issuesÂ before the court for determination, Owoeye is urging the court to hold that â€œit is trite law that when a matter is pending before a competent court of law, all parties to the suit or even non-parties to the suit are not expected to take any steps on the matter until the matter is finally disposed off by the courtâ€.
An Osogbo High Court presided over by Justice Jide Falola had earlier this yearÂ ruled that the composition of OSSIEC was illegal.
Following the judgment, the state government filed a notice of appeal but in a twist, sent a fresh list of OSSIEC members to the parliament for screening and approval. No date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.