An Ilorin High Court has fixed June 26, 2019 for the hearing of a motion on the ongoing suit challenging the authenticity of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) certificate, the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for election.
The presiding Judge, Justice Nike Akinpelu announced the adjourned date at the resumed hearing of the case in Ilorin on Tuesday (June 18, 2019) where Andrew Olawale Babalola, counsel to the new applicant, Olasehinde Abiodun Olusola, appeared before the court.
An attempt to draw the attention of the court to a notice of withdrawal of the suit challenging the authenticity of the WAEC certificate of Governor Abdulrazaq was stalled as court said it was not aware of the application of discontinuance of the case.
The claimant in the suit, Abraham Adekunle, through his counsel, Oludele Lawrence Ola, had filed originating summons before the court seeking the disqualification of Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, the then governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state on the ground that he presented forged WAEC certificate for his election.
The claimant also contended in the suit that the defendant was not eligible to stand for election based on the claim in the suit filed against him.
The case, which was adjourned for continuation of hearing yesterday, took a new dimension when Andrew Olawale Babalola, counsel to the fresh applicant, sought to be joined in the suit.
This is just as counsel to the defendant, Lawal Jimoh, informed the court that the claimant, Abraham Adekunle, had filed a notice of withdrawal from the suit, of which his counsel claimed ignorance.
Addressing Journalists shortly, the counsel to the defendant, Lawal Jimoh, said he was stunned that the claimant lawyer denied knowledge of notice of discontinuation filed in respect of the case.
He noted that the litigant reserved the right to withdraw from his case without the consent of his lawyer.
“The claimant has filed a notice of withdrawal since 15th of May (this year). By law, the case is technically dead on that day. The case was supposed to come up on the 10th of June. It came up but the court did not sit. Only in the evening around 5pm or so, we were now to be served that somebody else said he wants to join.
“We were now wondering that the case, which is dead technically, how can somebody said he wants to join. So, we tried to mention it to the court today (Monday) that we have been served with notice of withdrawal, which means that the case is technically dead, only for the court to say they are not aware.
“Then the claimant lawyer said he was not aware. The thing is that the claimant has his own case, not the lawyer. He only engaged the lawyer. So, you can come to withdraw, not necessarily mean that if you want to withdraw, you have to tell the lawyer.
“But to my surprise, the court says it is not aware, and that since the claimant lawyer is not aware, the case goes on. I said I want to tender the one we were served from the bar for the court to see that we were actually served, the court refused to see it”, Jimoh said.
Also speaking, counsel to the new applicant,
Andrew Olawale Babalola, said the motion seeking to be made co-claimant in the suit was filed before the court May 16 this year.
He stated that his client was awaiting the position of the court on the adjourned date on the fresh motion to be joined in the case.