Media reports monitored by Investogist says that the Nigerian Government through the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) has pleaded with the Abia State High Court to give it and other six respondents an extension of time to defend the lawsuit filed by Aloy Ejimakor on behalf of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
Barr. Alloy Ejimakor had on September 7, 2021 secured an order from the High Court of Abia State to serve by substituted means an originating application for enforecment of the Fundamental Rights of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
Amongst the prayers Barr. Ejiofor demanded was an apology from the federal government and N5 billion damages for the violation of his Fundamental Rights.
According the court papers referenced by SaharaReporters in its report on Wednesday, the respondents which included the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government and the Attorney were served on 10th September, 2021.
The respondents had five days from the date of service to reply to the suit in accordance with the Fundamental Rights Enforcements Procedure Rules. They did not adhere to this provision, as no response was made by the expiration day of 15th September, 2021.
Having ignored the lawsuit for over two weeks, an application for extension of time was filed on 6th October. A perusal of the Application by the Nigerian government and the AGF revealed that they pleaded for the discretion of the court to accept their defence despite their lateness.
The Court document partly read,
“The Respondents will be heard praying this Honourable Court for the following orders.
“An order for an extension of time within the 1st and 2nd Respondents can file and serve his Counter-Affidavit and other processes in this suit out of time.
“An order deeming the said filed processes as having been duly filed and served.”
The case is said to have been assigned for hearing to Abia High Court 1, which is said to be presided over by the Chief Judge of the State.
In responding to the application for extension, Barrister Ejimakor opposed the said application, citing statutory and judicial authorities that disallowed inordinate delays in hearing cases of this nature, especially as he said that his Client, Kanu is in detention.
The next hearing date is yet to be set by the court, as no information could be found to that effect.
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur