By Deborah Onyofufeke
An Abuja-based company, ENL Consortium Limited, has approached a Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court in Abuja, to commit Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, Attorney General of the State, Oyewole Oyelowo, to prison over their alleged refusal to obey the order of the court.
Also sought to be committed to prison are Egyptian Contractors led by Fadi Khalil, on the same alleged disregard to the lawful order of the court.
ENL Consortium Limited in a committal to prison proceedings argued on Wednesday that the order of the court issued against the governor, Attorney General and others since July 4, 2022, has not been complied with.
Counsel to the company, Mr Bankole Joel Akomolafe, in form 48, initiated against the defendants, prayed Justice Josephine Obanor, not to give the defendants an audience on any issue until they have purged themselves of the content of the court.
Akomolafe, reminded the Judge that on July 4, 2022, the court issued an order restraining Craneburg Limited, Oyo State Government, Oyo State Attorney General and an Egyptian, Mr Fadi Khalil from interfering with the activities of ENL Consortium in relation to the 32 Kilometers Ibadan Circular Road Project awarded to in 2017.
He claimed that since the order was made and served on the defendants, ENL Consortium Limited has not been allowed to resume work.
At today’s proceedings, counsel to the Governor and Attorney General, Professor Taiwo Osipitan SAN had sought to move a motion seeking to discharge and set aside the restraining order against his clients on the ground that an appeal has been entered against the order at the Court of Appeal.
The Senior lawyer asked the Judge to hand off the suit pending the determination of the appeal marked CA/ABJ/CV/973/2022.
However, Akomolafe agreed partially with the submission of Osipitan SAN but held that the contempt charge against the Governor and AG takes precedent over any motion from the defendants.
He cited Supreme Court authorities that dignity, honour and majesty of the Court must be protected through obedience to court orders adding that the Governor and AG being in contempt of court cannot be heard.
Akomolafe, sought leave from the Court to enable him to file and serve form 49 against the defendants. Osipitan, appealed to the court to grant him adjournment to enable him to respond in writing to the contempt charge.
In a brief ruling, the court adjourned till October 28.