Court orders fresh substituted service on Enugu panel
An Enugu State High Court has ordered that fresh court processes be served on the Administrative Panel of Inquiry set up by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to look into the land dispute between Ogui Nike and Ugwuaji communities in Enugu South Local Government Area.
Justice Cyprian Aja had on September 29, 2020 restrained the panel from sitting and to stay action on the issues of ownership and/or boundaries of the disputed land.
Therefore, the court ordered that the originating processes and other processes on the first to sixth respondents be served by pasting same in front of the entrance of the venue for the panel’s sitting at Room 2A, Abuja Building, Government House, Enugu.
The court further granted an order of substituted service of the originating processes on the governor through the Office of the Attorney General of the state and adjourned until October 12, 2020 for hearing in the motion on notice.
The applicants in the suit No. E/464M/2020 are Paul Anike and Chinenye Maduekwe, while the respondents are the six members of the panel.They are James Ikeyi, Godwin Ugwuoke, Daniel Nwachukwu, Godwin Ishiwu, Chudi Ozokolo and Robinson Odo.
However, when the matter was called up, the first respondent and Chairman of the panel, Chief James Ikeyi (SAN), told the court that the panel had not been served. He said he knew about the matter through the governor.
According to him, the address where the court ordered the processes to be served on them was wrong as the panel had not started sitting as of the date the order was made.
He said they recently got an approval to sit at the Justice Umezulike Hall.But counsel for the applicants, Mr. Anthony Anaenugwu (SAN), told the court that he had proof that the respondents had been duly served with the processes.
He said: “To say that they were not served makes nonsense of the order of the court. Are we throwing out substituted service?
“The processes were served in accordance with the rules and orders of the court and if the government wants to play games with my learned friend, that is his business.”
In his ruling, Justice Aja said the service was in order and ordered that the processes be served on the first to sixth respondents again at the venue provided by Ikeyi on or before October 16, 2020. The matter was adjourned until November 24 for mention.
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