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ENL Consortium asks court to jail Makinde, others for contempt

From Olalekan Awojodu, Abuja

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory FCT in Abuja has been asked to commit Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, Attorney General of the State, Oyewole Oyelowo to prison over their alleged refusal to obey the order of the court.

Also sought to be committed to prison are Egyptian Contractors led by Fadi Khalil on the same alleged disregard to lawful order of the court.

An Abuja based company, ENL Consortium Limited in a committal to prison proceedings argued on Wednesday held that the order of the court issued against the governor, Attorney General and others since July 4, 2022 has not been complied with.

Counsel to the company, Mr Bankole Joel Akomolafe in a form 48 initiated against the defendants prayed Justice Josephine Obanor not to listen to the defendants on any issue until they have purged themselves of contempt of the court.

Akomolafe reminded the Judge that on July 4, 2022, the court issued an order restraing Craneburg Limited, Oyo State Government, Oyo State Attorney General and an Egyptian, Mr. Fadi Khalil from interfering with the activities of ENL Consortium in relation to the 32 Kilometers Ibadan Circular Road Project awarded to it in 2017.

He claimed that since the order was made and served on the defendants, the ENL Consortium Limited has not been allowed to resume work.

At Wednesday’s proceedings, counsel to the Governor and Attorney General, Professor Taiwo Osipitan SAN had sought to move a motion seeking to discharge and set aside the restraining order against his clients on the ground that an appeal has been entered against the order at the Court of Appeal.

The Senior lawyer asked the Judge to hands off from the suit pending the determination of the appeal marked CA/ABJ/CV/973/2022.

However, Akomolafe agreed partially with the submission of Osipitan SAN but held that the contempt charge against the Governor and AG takes precedent over any motion from the defendants.

He cited Supreme Court authorities that dignity, honour and majesty of the Court must be protected through obedience to court orders adding that the Governor and AG being in contempt of court cannot be heard.

Akomolafe therefore sought leave of the Court to enable him file and serve form 49 against the defendants.

At this point, Osipitan appealed to Justice Obanor to grant him adjournment to enable him respond in writing to the contempt charge.

In a brief ruling, Justice Obanor granted adjournment till October 28.

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