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Undemocratic councils: Court orders substituted service on Anambra Assembly, Three Ex-Govs

 

The Federal High Court, Awka Division, has granted an activist, Dr. Ifeanyichukwu Okonkwo, leave to serve by substituted means, the Anambra State House of Assembly and four other defendants in a suit, challenging the prolonged undemocratic local government administration in Anambra State.

The other defendants include three former Executive Governors of the State, Dr. Chris Nwabueze Ngige (2003- 2006), Peter Obi (2006-2014) and Willie Maduabuchukwu Obiano (2014-2022) respectively, for themselves and on behalf of the transition chairmen and councilors who served under them, and Mr. Livinus Onyenwe, for himself and on behalf of the transition chairmen under the incumbent Governor, Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo.

Recall that Onyenwe was until recently the Transition Chairman of Anyamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State.

The order to serve the defendants by substituted means was made by Justice Hauwa J. Yilwa on Tuesday May 28, 2024 in suit number FHC/AWK/CS/90/2024, filed by Dr. Okonkwo, who is a former governorship aspirant in Anambra State.

Justice Yilwa ordered that the Originating Court processes and other processes in the suit should be pasted at the front gates of the last known addresses of the affected defendants, while the photographic evidence showing the bailiff effecting the order should be attached to the Affidavit of service filed as proof of service.

She granted the order upon a Motion Ex-parte dated 15th May 2024 and filed same day by the applicant, praying the Honourable Court for the following Orders:

“1. An order for leave to serve the Originating Court processes and other Court processes in this suit on the following: The 4th defendant (Clerk of Anambra State House of Assembly) the 5th defendant (Former Governor Dr. (Chief) Chris Nwabueze Ngige); the 6th defendant (Former Governor, Mr. Peter Obi), the 7th defendant (Former Governor Willie Maduabuchukwu Obiano) and the 8th defendant (Mr. Livinus Onyenwe), by pasting the court process at the last known addresses of the 4th, 5th, 6th,7th and 8th defendants.”

“2. The Leave of the Honourable Court, that photographic evidence showing the court bailiff effecting the pasting of the Court processes at the front gates of the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th defendants, be attached to the Affidavit of Service filed as proof of service.

“3. An Order that this mode of service mentioned in prayer (1) here in above be adopted for service of all other processes in this suit and on the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Defendants herein.”

“4. An order directing that the mode of service mentioned here in above, be deemed good, proper and sufficient services, of all Court processes between the plaintiff/ applicant and the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Defendants in this suit.”

Upon reading the 17- paragraph Affidavit deposed to by the Plaintiff/Applicant dated and filed at the Court’s Registry the 15th day of May, 2024 and hearing him in person, the court made an order, granting prayers 1 to 4 as applicable to the 6th, 7th and 8th Defendants

The court also ordered that the 4th defendant be served through the Office of the Clerk of the Anambra State House of Assembly and that the 5th respondent be served through a last known address within Anambra State in line with the averment in paragraph 7 of the said Affidavit.

Meanwhile the court has fixed Wednesday, July 17, 2024 for the hearing of the substantive suit.

 

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