Defection: Court grants order for substituted service to paste hearing notice in Dogara’s office

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A Federal High Court sitting, Abuja, on Tuesday, granted an ex-parte order to paste hearing notices on former speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, in his office.

The Incorporated Trustees of United Global Resolve for Peace Organisation filed a suit challenging the defection of Dogara from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to All Progressives Congress (APC).

Justice Okon Abang granted the order following a motion by the plaintiff, that Dogara, who represents Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency of Bauchi State, had frustrated efforts to personally serve him with court processes.

The organisation is seeking the removal of the lawmaker from the National Assembly after he defected from PDP to APC.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other defendants in the suit include the PDP, APC, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Attorney General of the Federation as 2nd to 6th defendants respectively.

The group, which filed the motion through its counsel, Michael Okejimi, sought for an order of the court “granting the plaintiff/applicant leave to serve the 1st defendant/respondent in this suit by substituted means, to wit; by pasting copies of the originating summons, hearing notices and all other processes filed and purposed to be filed in this case at his office at the National Assembly Complex, Three Arms Zone, Abuja, all attempts to serve the 1st Defendant/Respondent personally having failed.”

The plantiff had, on Aug. 4, 2020, prayed the court to declare vacant, Dogara’s seat at the House of the Representatives.

He had also urged the court to order the INEC to conduct a bye-election to fill the vacant seat.

The suit came after Dogara had defected back to the ruling APC on July 24, 2020, having accused the PDP leadership in his state of mismanaging public funds and bad governance.

But the group is querying why he left a party under which he got re-elected into the lower house.

Shortly after the court order on Dogara, his counsel, Isiaka Kadiri, told the judge that he actually came to collect the court processes for his client.

“My, Lord, even though we are here to come to court to collect the processes on his behalf. I have no objection for trial date,” he said.

But Justice Abang, who agreed with the plaintiff’s motion, told Kadiri that it was his client that should be served.

“You can’t serve counsel with originating summons, the proper thing has been done,” the judge said.

Abang, who adjourned the matter until Feb. 5 for hearing, ordered that hearing notices should be issued on the second to sixth defendants.

NAN reports that the PDP, in a separate suit, is also asking for the sack of Dogara before the court. (NAN)

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