The Court of Appeal, Benin Division, yesterday temporarily barred the four suspended Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members of Edo state House of the Assembly from the complex until they comply with the restraining court order issued against them by a Benin High Court.
Justice Morounkeji Ogunwunmiju, who delivered the ruling on behalf of his brother Justices, averred that “the said suspended members could not seek any relief from the Court of Appeal while they were in contempt or disobedience of the Order of the High Court.”
The court also dismissed the application for stay of execution brought before it by the quartet, the factional speaker of PDP Lawmakers, Hon. Festus Ebea, Jude Ise- Idehen, Friday Ogieriakhi and Patrick Osayimwen from forcibly gaining entrance into the premises and legislative quarters.
Justice Ogunwunmiju, also restrained the Assistant Inspector- General of Police, zone 5, Benin City and the commissioner of police, Edo state.
The ruling was pursuance to the stay of execution order filed quartet to vacate the lower court order before approaching it for a stay of execution will be heard, noting that failure to obey the decision of the lower court amounted to disobedience.
She however dismissed the appellants’ applications.
Reacting to the ruling, Ferdinard Orbih (SAN) Counsel to the appellants said they will study the judgment with his clients before taking any decision either to appeal against it or not.
Ken Mozia (SAN) Counsel to the respondents in his response to the judgement, said a committal proceedings of contempt of court has been instituted against the appellants but was however put on hold as a result of stay of execution appeal before the court of appeal.
He said the choice to enforce the lower court ruling reside with the authorities of the Nigeria police.