The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, extended the interim order barring Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State from arresting Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the suspended National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), over his alleged indictment by a panel of inquiry.
The trial judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed ordered all parties in the matter to stay action till June 29, 2020, when the court will hear a motion challenging its jurisdiction to entertain the application filed by Oshiomhole for the protection of his fundamental human rights.
Joined with Governor Obaseki as respondents are the Edo State government, the Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice of Edo State, chairman of the panel of inquiry, Justice J. Oyomire, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Department of State Service (DSS).
The court had, in a ruling on June 1, restrained both Governor Obaseki and the other respondents from taking steps to arrest Oshiomhole who is a former governor of the state, over the report of the Justice Oyomire-panel that indicted him for corruption and diversion of public funds.
Justice Mohammed directed the parties to maintain the status quo, pending the determination of the issue of jurisdiction.
The interim order followed an ex-parte application by Oshiomhole wherein he had prayed the court to stop his arrest and prosecution on account of a White Paper that was issued against him by the panel of inquiry the Edo State government constituted to probe him.
Meanwhile, when the matter came up on Wednesday, Oshiomhole’s counsel, Mr Ehioge West-Idahosa, notified the court that he filed a counter-affidavit to dismiss the preliminary objection the respondents raised against the suit and that the said counter-affidavit has been served on all the respondents, except the sixth respondent.
Counsel to the first to fourth respondents, Mr Kingsley Idahosa, confirmed that the processes were served on him before the court proceedings commenced on Wednesday and prayed the court for time to study the counter-affidavit with a view to identifying areas that would require his clients to respond.
Consequently, Justice Mohammed adjourned the case to June 29 and restated his earlier order barring any of the parties from taking steps that could jeopardise the subject matter of the case.