From Olanrewaju Lawal,Ilorin
The Kwara state Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party(PDP),Chief Iyiola Akogun Oyedepo, escaped warrant arrest over his non-appearance in court on Tuesday for contempt of court charged against him by aggrieved member of the party.
It could be recalled that a former chairman of Ilorin West Local government, Alh. Toyin Olosasa had approached Ilorin high court to stop the Oyedepo-led State Executive from the inauguration of new executive in Ilorin-West Local Government area of the state.
Despite the court order served the PDP Chairman, Oyedepo went ahead to inaugurate new executive of the party in the area, which prompted a contempt of court charge against him by the claimant.
At the court yesterday, his defendant counsel, A.O Abubakar argued that his client ought to have been given two clear days to reply to court notice served on him by the claimant which he claimed was contrary to the procedures of the court.
Abubakar, who cited Alhaji Muhammad Mura vs Dr Samuel Adeyeye 1999, Dikibo vs Iboloya, 2007 argued that rule 49 of the high court was defective, misused stressing that the procedures of contempt of court must be strictly adhered to.
Counsel to the claimant, Magaji Oba Abdulkadir, argued that the court has to issue warrant arrest on the 4th defendant because his non-appearance on Tuesday court session showed that he lacks respect for the court.
He noted that the parties have to reach a stage whether the rules or court orders were defective or not, but the issue before the court was contempt charge bill for determination.
Abdulkadir said under the Sherriff civil law section 66(f) and 77, only non-payment on money may not incur warrant of arrest within the court adjourn days noting that in this case, the 4th defendant was personally served and could not prove that he was not served by court bailiff.
“This is disobedience to court, the court must protect its integrity. He should be committed to prison until he prove his innocence on the contempt charge. We have evidences that he was served and his non-appearance today shows that he has no respect for the court.” In his ruling, the presiding judge, Justice I.A Yusuf, who had earlier provided 4th defendant counsel authorities cited for clarification in
case of doubt, said the defendant must appear before the court on September 10th, 2014 to prove his innocence to no cost, and adjourned the case.