Otodo Gbame Community to appeal verdict in contempt suit against Ambode, others
The decision was communicated to The Guardian by Megan Chapman, the community’s legal representative and co-director of Justice Empowerment Initiatives (JEI).
Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo has in his ruling, held that the governor, who was the third respondent, had constitutional immunity from prosecution and imprisonment. Dismissing the suit for lack of jurisdiction, the judge ruled further that the other respondents, having acted under the clear order and direct supervision of the governor, could not be said to be the contemnors.
However, the community feels that the judge overextended the sovereign immunity enjoyed by Ambode by failing to hold the other respondents accountable in their own rights. Chapman also informed that the protest, which arose shortly after the court verdict, was not done because of a loss in court since the court made it clear that its subsisting court order means that the people should be on the land and in their houses.
She alleged that the Government has used such force, even bringing two gunboats to guard the land, which made it impossible for the people to return to the land in line with the court order.
On the ownership of land, Chapman said neither the government nor the House of Assembly could pronounce on ownership of land when there are matters pending before the courts.
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