By now, you would have seen posts flying online about a Federal High Court Judgment granting stay of execution to the earlier judgement granted by the same court against a former member of the House, Idongesit Ituen who represented Itu state constituency until Monday, November 19, 2018, when the Speaker of the House, Barr. Onofiok Luke acted the orders of the court which mandated the speaker and the House to forthwith cease recognizing Idongesit Ituen as member.
Before going forward, recall that it was the ousted lawmaker who first approached the court to seek an injunction restraining the speaker from declaring his seat vacant. Sitting on the case, Justice Riman of the Uyo Federal High Court had passed a verdict sacking Idongesit Ituen from the House.
It is on record that after being sacked, the self-battling Ituen had led hoodlums to the House and tried forcing his way into the chamber while plenary was ongoing but met stiff resistance. Later same day, his media hirelings came up with the sick justification that he had filed an appeal which granted a stay of execution on the earlier ruling against him. The stay of execution was supposed to restrain the speaker from carrying out the orders of Justice Riman’s judgment.
However, the speaker had no legal restriction because he was yet to, and still yet to receive any notice in that regard.
Legally speaking, after a judge has ruled on a case, he is supposed to be functus (that is, he is not supposed to sit on such case again). Consequently, the appeal should move to a court of appeal.
Surprisingly, the same Justice Riman has granted a stay of execution on a ruling he earlier gave and a notice of same served the speaker and which the speaker has already carried out.
While in court this morning, I listened to Justice Riman fidgeting and lamenting while continually showing imbalance. In fact, I’m sure he did not know when he confessed that he has been put under pressure due to several calls from Abuja he’d been receiving, especially last night. He granted a stay of execution, even when there was no notice of appeal attached, not because it is tenable in law, but because he was compelled by some forces in power at the center.
Well, it’s expected that the ousted lawmaker and his noise makers will go wild in celebration. But soon, he’ll be shown how to follow due court process.
Meanwhile, the House of Assembly complex is still under seige. #AkhaUnderSiege
Keep watching this space for more update.