An Edo State High Court in Benin has dismissed a motion filed by the State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Col. David Imuse (rtd), on stay of proceedings on a libel suit filed against him.
The libel suit was filed by the Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Akwa Ibom State, Mike Iginni.
Ruling on the application, Justice Vestee Eboreime, dismissed the oral application moved by Counsel to the Edo State APC chairman, Austin Osarenkhoe.
The Judge held that an appeal before a Court of Appeal doesn’t translate to a stay of proceedings at the lower court.
“I have accordingly dismissed and discountenance the application of stay of proceedings orally moved by the first Counsel to the first defendant. I call on the claimant to continue with his case,” the Judge held.
Igini had dragged the Eso APC chairman and some national media houses before the court, seeking N5 billion damages over alleged libelous press briefing during the 2020 governorship in the state.
Osarenkhoe had asked the court to stay proceedings on the case pending the determination of the appeal before Court of Appeal, Benin Division.
He said with the appeal, the lower court has no jurisdiction to entertain the case pending when the higher court discharges its duties.
But counsel to Igini, Clement Onwuenwu, objected to the application, saying mere filing of an appeal in the Appeal court does not translate to filling of stay of the execution of proceeding.
He urged the court to dismiss the application for lack of merit.
The court admitted the video evidence as exhibit, said it was germane and cogent for the plaintiff’s case.
The court, however, adjourned the case to August 3 and 4 for continuation of hearing.