Asa Investment owned by the Saraki family, has filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal, sitting in Ilorin, Kwara state, challenging the August 6, 2020 ruling of Justice Abiodun Adebara of the Kwara State High Court.
Justice Adebara had in his ruling of August 6, 2020 lifted the interim order of injunction the court earlier imposed on the state government preventing it from further interfering with the three plots of land in the Ilorin GRA which housed the Ile Arugbo used by the Saraki family to cater for old people and the needy in the society.
The company also filed the process for stay of execution of the order on the trial court, pursuant to Order 11 Rule (1) of the Kwara State High Court to prevent the implementation of the court ruling and the continuation of proceeding on the matter before it, pending the hearing and determination of the Appeal.
It will be recalled that Justice Adebara had based his ruling of August 6, 2020 on the absence in court of the senior counsel representing Asa Investments, Mr. Akin Onigbinde (SAN), an action the judge described as a ploy to delay the case.
The ruling was made in spite of the fact that the senior advocate had applied for adjournment of the case on the ground of ill health and attached a sick certificate and medical report from the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan. The application was also submitted to the court before the date of the hearing.
In its appeal, Asa Investments submitted that the judge erred in law and failed to exercise his discretionary power judicially and judiciously when he refused the application by the plaintiff’s lawyer as there were cogent reasons to believe that the application by the senior counsel was made on valid ground of ill health.
The appellant also argued that the judge erred in law when he vacated the interim order of injunction which was granted pending the determination of the Motion on Notice for interlocutory injunction filed by Asa Investments since the Motion on Notice has not been determined by the trial court.
The Appeal also challenged the award of the cost of N250,000 against the appellants, a decision which they said was made in error since they were in court and their senior counsel who was absent had a valid ground and adequate reason to be so absent.
Asa Investment in its fourth ground of appeal argued that Justice Adebara made his decisions in error when he failed to consider that the parties to the case before him have not completed their pleadings by virtue of Order 27 of the Kwara State (Civil Procedures) Rules 2005, thereby breaching the right to fair hearing of the appellants in the August 6, 2020 ruling.
In its application for stay of execution, Asa Investments is seeking an order for stay of execution of the August 6, 2020 ruling of the High Court, stay of further proceedings of the matter before the high court and an order “restraining the Respondents by themselves or through their servants, agents, privies or otherwise howsoever described from taking any step or further step in recognition or in pursuance of the Ruling of this Honourable Court delivered on the 6th day of August, 2020, in Suit No: KWS/463/2019 pending the hearing and determination of the appeal lodged by the applicant against the said Ruling at the Court of Appeal, Ilorin Judicial Division”.
Meanwhile, apart from the Saraki family which has been pursuing the case on behalf of Asa Investments Limited, one of the original directors of the company who is still alive, Alhaji Sanusi Baba-Eleku has joined as a party to the case. His name is listed in all the processes filed in the trial and appeal courts.