|Lawyers Of Assemblies Of God|
The Supreme Court panel that sat over the Appeal by the former GS of the church in APPEAL NO SC/396/2015 were Hon. Justice Mary Odili presiding with his learned brothers, C. C. Nweze Jsc, Kekere E. Jsc, Akas Jsc and Ejembi Eko Jsc.
APPEARANCES: Chief Mrs. A. J. Offiah SAN and S. I. Ameh SAN for the Appellant (Paul Emeka) with them were J. U. Ajii esq, R. O. Agama esq, Ikechukwu Onuoma esq, C. S. Nwaubani (Mrs), I. O. Peter esq, Shehu Michael esq, Chukwukaire Loveth (Mrs), L. N. Dike esq, A. U. E. Oboy esq, R. O. Adakole esq, C. O. Sabo (miss), and M. O. Muhammed (miss).
Chief Kanu Agabi SAN for the Respondents (The Church) with E. C. N. Igbokwe esq, Johnny Aselouka esq, A. E. Okwara (mrs), Bob James esq, Ayo Akam esq, A. A. Onyeji esq, Joel Ejiofor esq, J. O. Udensi esq, Izevbigie Iyobosa esq, MaryFrances Orji (miss), A. C. Akwuete esq, Peter Erivwode esq, Uchenna Ede (mrs), Emmanuel Bisong Otinya esq, Anthony Odule esq, Opara Maxwell. C.esq.
The Appellant counsel Chief Mrs. Offiah SAN informed the court that at the last adjourned date of 19/01/2016, that the court after the proceedings advised the parties to explore option of settlement and that she wrote a letter to that regard and served same on De Nwigwe SAN at owerri but that De Nwigwe SAN replied by saying that the letter aught to be addressed to the lead counsel Chief Kanu Agabi SAN. That the respondents refused to cooperate which means that settlement has failed.
In reply, Chief Agabi SAN told the court to discountenance the purported letter seeking for settlement because if the Appellant was serious on it, that they would have made effort to contact him after De Nwigwe SAN directed the to send the letter to him. That most importantly was the fact that Appellant wrote the purported letter on 18/11/2016 which was few days ago. He said that since no steps were taken by the Appellant to reach him, it means we are in court for hearing of the appeal.
ADOPTION OF BRIEFS
Chief Offiah SAN adopted their brief of argument dated and filed on 4/2/16 and also their Reply Brief dated 5/5/16 and filed on 11/5/16. She urged the court to allow the appeal and grant all the reliefs as appearing in the Notice of Appeal.she further relied on the list of authorities filed on 9/11/16. She adumbrated by saying that the case before the court is not about one man against the church rather that it is a case of the Appellant against Rev. Chidi Okoroafor and 18 others. Also that the case is not about election to the office of GS rather that it was a case of infringement of Rev. Paul Emeka, s fundamental rights.
Finally, she told the court that the court below in considering the issue of damages, went outside the appeal before it and made far reaching decisions that was not placed before it.
Chief Agabi SAN adopted the Respondents brief of arguments and urged the court to dismiss the appeal for lacking in merit. He also adumbrated by stating that the Appellant reliefs clearly shows that he was seeking to enforce his fundamental right and that relief 1, 2, 3, and 4 were seeking to set aside his suspension from office of GS which the Supreme Court has declared not actionable under fundamental rights provision.
That the Supreme Court has held in many cases that Chapter IV of the constitution does not apply to domestic committees like the General Committee of the AGN which suspended him on 6/3/2014.
Again, that the appeal has become academic since Paul Emeka was elected in 2010 for 4 years tenure which has since elapsed in 2014 and that he cannot lay claim to the office of GS in perpetuity.
This case is hereby adjourned to 24th day of February 2017 FOR JUDGMENT.