The Court of Appeal, Ibadan , on Tuesday fixed November 3, this year for the adoption of final addresses by parties in the Osun State Governorship election petition appeal filed by the flag bearer of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Engineer Rauf Aregbesola.
The development came on the heels of a ruling which granted the prayer of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) seeking the enlargement of time within then Police could file its reply to the brief of argument filed by Aregbesola.
The police had claimed that it filed its reply outside the time stipulated by the law and therefore, like the Independent national Electoral Commission (INEC) did during the last sitting, sought the approval of the appellate court to deem its reply as being filed within the time limit.
Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun leading Justices Sidi Bagge and J.K. Ikyogeh granted the prayer of the police without making any order as to cost.
Though the application was not opposed by Aregbesola’s leading counsel, Chief Ebun Sofunde (SAN), wondered why the police was bringing the application which he regarded as frivolous and unmerited.
“My Lords, though we are not opposing the application, I will want to make some comments regarding this application. They had five days to file their brief. This type of application has the implication of delaying the determination of the appeal which should be heard expeditiously. Even if they had to file it, they should have done so expeditiously”, Sofunde complained to the court.
The silk who asked the court to impose a cost of N250,000.00 on the police further argued that the police filed its reply within the time stipulated by law and insisted that the application was brought to further delay the determination of the appeal which he contended should be heard expeditiously.
When Justice Kekere-Ekun asked Sofunde about who would pay the cost he was asking for when he knew that the police did not pay filing fees, the SAN replied that “My Lords, the police is not exempted from paying cost. I know they do not pay filing fees but they are not exempted from paying costs”
Represented by the Chief State Counsel from the Osun State Ministry of Justice, Mr. Jide Obisakin, the Police moved the motion in terms of his application and it was granted without cost while the cost enlarged the time within which the police could file its reply.
Justice Kekere-Ekun then announced that the main appeal would be heard on November 3, 2010 at the same court when parties would adopt their final addresses leading to the delivery of the judgment.