FREEPRESS – I have taken a good look at the court order now circulating on social media which was purportedly obtained by one Victor Giadom. Ordinarily, I would be
reluctant to comment on such an order, if it appeared normal within the legal framework of our country. The order is curious. There is nothing to suggest that an application was made to extend the original order of 16th March, 2020. The High Court is a court of superior records and it would be strange to extend an order without a narration of the circumstances leading to such extension on the enrollment of order itself. This particular order does not contain such narratives. From my enquiries, this order has not been served on APC till date as contended by the legal Dept of the party.

By the provisions of Order 43, Rule 3, of FCT High Court Rules, an order
made ex-parte shall abate after 7 days. The court may extend same for
another 7 days, if satisfied that the Motion on Notice has been served on
the other party and there is need to prevent mischief.

It is important to point out that an application for renewal of such order
must be made before abatement according to order 43, rule 3 of FCT High
Court Rules.

If the story that APC has not been served till date is correct, upon what
basis would such exparte order be extended? How can an exparte order be
extended after about 90 days from when it was purportedly made? If the life
of the order is only 7 days, how many times would such order be renewed
within 90 days? Do your calculation.

One thing is clear, the exparte order abated on March 23, 2020. Where is
the application to extend same filed on or before March 23, 2020? Where are
the other applications filed to keep the order alive for 90 days? When were
these applications filed and argued? Was it during the National lockdown of
FCT? Were there special court sittings arranged for Victor Giadom during
the lockdown? Can you really give life to such a desolate exparte order of
three months standing?

I have asked these questions to enable the public follow the expected
patterns that valid exparte orders take. The one under reference is the
opposite of proven and judicially noticed sequence.

Where was this exparte order kept all along? Why did it suddenly surface
following the decision of the Court of Appeal upholding the fact that the
APC national chairman was suspended by his ward as a member of the party
and restrained him from parading himself as national chairman. That
decision had nothing to do with Victor Giadom’s suit. The decision merely
left APC to be managed according to its Constitution.

My advice to the National leadership of APC is to pay a close attention to
this mutated order and investigate the circumstances leading to the
extension of an order that abated several weeks ago. This is the kind of
exparte order that can create a political crisis for APC and by extension,
our country being the ruling party. I hope that there are leaders in APC.
They have a challenge to prove they exist.

God bless our country.

Dr. West-Idahosa.
( Lawyer and public policy expert)

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