Court holds Issa-Onilu, Edo APC factional leaders for alleged contempt
A Benin High Court has held Col. David Imuse (rtd), factional Publicity Secretary of the Edo State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chris Azebamwan and the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, for contempt of court, ordering a substituted service of the charges.
The order was given in the case involving Anselm Ojezua; factional Deputy Chairman of the party in the state, Kenneth Asekhomhe; State Organising Secretary, Dr. Aisosa Amadasun as claimants/applicants and Col. David Imuse (rtd); Lawrence Okah for himself on behalf of the members of the purported State Working Committee that purportedly suspended/removed the first plaintiff as chairman of the state chapter of the party and Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu for himself and on behalf of the National Working Committee of the APC as defendants.
The claimants had sought for “an order directing that service of the Form 48 and all other subsequent processes in relation to the contempt proceeding (s) be effected on the first, second and third parties as well as their committal for contempt of court through substituted means. And for such other or further orders as this honourable court may deem fit to make in the circumstance of this case.”
Ruling, Justice V. O. A. Oviawe said: “I have carefully considered this application. I take cognisance of the representation by counsel to the first, second and third parties that they are willing to accept service of the said Form 48 on behalf of the stated parties, here in court and duly ordered.
“I am however of the view that by virtue of the nature of the processes sought to be served, which the law provides must be served personally but which by virtue of the facts deposed to that the parties are evading service, I am left with no other option than to, properly, grant the order as prayed. The acceptance of the service by counsel in the record in my view cannot suffice.
“Accordingly, it is hereby ordered that service of Form 48 and all other subsequent processes in relation to the contempt proceedings be effected on the first, second and third parties sought to be committed for committing contempt of court by substituted service.”