Legal Tussle Between The Founder Of NNPP And KWANKWASIYYA Continues At Kano State High Court.

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The Kano State High Court No. 4, presided over by Honorable Justice Usman Mallam Na’abba, sat today, March 11th, 2024, and adjourned further proceedings until March 27th, 2024. The Honorable judge directed that all pending motions before the court would be heard.

The lawyer representing NNPP Kwankwasiyya group, Robert Hons Esq., was directed by the court to file his motion for committal and give the respondent’s counsel, Aminu Abdulrasheed Esq., an opportunity to respond to the allegation of whether the 1st to 17th Respondents are in contempt of the court order or not.

During the proceedings, there were diverse submissions and arguments on points of law, with both counsels, especially those representing the parties, presenting their arguments on whether the business of the day was for the respondent’s contempt proceeding. Ultimately, the court agreed with the learned counsel for the 1st to 17th Respondents that the business of the day was not for committal. The court adjourned the matter to March 27th, 2024.

Our findings revealed that the Court earlier issued an interim injunction on September 4th, 2023, against the respondents, including INEC, listed as the 18th Respondent in Suit No. K/M1157/2023 between NNPP and Chief Dr. Boniface O. Aniebonam and 17 others via Originating Summons. The injunction sought to restrain the founder of NNPP, the Board of Trustees, and Excos from parading themselves, issuing press releases, or granting interviews as leaders or members of NNPP pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice. However, the 1st to 17th 

Respondents, through their counsel Aminu Abdulrasheed, Esq., filed a notice of preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the Kano High Court on several grounds, including that all the respondents are not residents of Kano, the actions took place outside the territorial jurisdiction of Kano State High Court, the action sought to stop was already concluded, and the 

suit amounted to forum shopping, thus depriving the Kano State High Court of the requisite jurisdiction to entertain it.

On the other hand, another counsel for the 1st to 17th Respondents, Mr. Peter O. Ofikwu, Esq.,

filed a notice of appeal before the Court of Appeal Kano against the interim order granted by Kano State High Court No. 4 and also a motion for a stay of execution of the said order.

When our correspondent interviewed the Counsel for the 1st to 17th Respondents at the court premises, Barrister Aminu Abdulrasheed reluctantly explained the proceedings during the sitting in Kano. He said, “When a matter is pending before the general public, caution should be exercised to restrain from subjecting or prejudging the matter because it amounts to sub judice. However,what transpired is what you witnessed. The applicants or the Kwankwasiyya group used the party acronyms NNPP and filed a suit before Kano State High Court, and used the media to mislead the members of NNPP and the general public by making publications narrating things that did not happen before the court and also saying things that did not come out from the verdict of the Court.

At this juncture, I need to advise my colleague that whenever a matter is pending before the Court of law, the truth should be said on what actually transpired.

The truth is that there are pending applications before the Court whereby the judge granted the interim injunction against the Respondents. That order was granted on September 4th, last year.

An interim order, which is granted via expert application, does not give the Respondents an opportunity to give their own version, and the order only lasts for 14 days. So, if the order is

granted on September 4th, 2023, then the lifespan of that order expired on September 18th, 2023.

So, the order already expired. Even before the expiration of the order, we filed a motion on notice challenging the jurisdiction of the Honourable Court, to which the Counsel of NNPP .

Kwankwasiyya filed a counter. That means we joined issues. After we joined issues, they are, by equity, ought to come for their motion on notice. Because when you file an application for interim.

injunction, you must file a motion on notice along with it, where the Respondent will respond and argue before the court on whether the court shall make that interim order an interlocutory one or not because at the expiration of 14 days, the force of that order and validity had elapsed. It can be renewed upon showing valid reasons, which the Applicant did not go to court and apply for the 

extension of the lifespan of that order beyond the 14 days. And the said order is appealed before the Court of Appeal. These are the things before the court.

Surprisingly, the Applicant obtained and issued Form 48 and 49 through substituted service instead of personal service, as provided for by the law. Those forms are procedurally initiating processes for contempt proceedings against a party alleged for contempt of Court. Instead of moving their

motion on notice pending before the Court, they just dumped the whole forms in Lagos against the 1st to 17th Respondents I am representing. They went about through their sponsored publication,

misleading members of NNPP and the general public, stating that the Respondents are in disobedience of Court order and will be committed to prison the moment they appear before Court today.

It is unfortunate that a very simple matter will be subjected to media trial instead of being litigated in court


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