A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has adjourned till fixed July 22 for the hearing of the substantive suit brought by two chief executive officers of Oando Plc, seeking enforcement of their rights.
The court also fixed July 4th to hear arguments on the motion for consolidation. At the resumed hearing, Mr. Yele Delano (SAN) announced appearance for Oando and expressed the company’s intention to be joined in the suit as well as seeking a consolidation of similar suits, pending before the court.
Delano also sought an adjournment to enable him file his processes in the suit. In response, counsel to SEC, Idigbe raised an objection to their request for joiner, on the grounds that it would pre-determine the respondent’s case.
He argued that the issue of application consolidation was intended to frustrate the case, thereby elongating the hearing of the case. He further argued that the party in question has not formally processed the application for consolidation, it was only a mere oral expression.
According to him, “My Lord, this matter was adjourned to today for hearing, and I am prepared to go on. The issue of consolidation of the cases is meant to accelerate the matter rather than taking it backward”. He argued that if the court allows the joinder, it would have pre-determined the case of the defence and therefore urged the court to refuse the application.
On his part, counsel to the applicants, Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) argued in favour of the request for joining and urged the court to allow the party seeking to be joined in the suit. According to him, if the court refuses the application for joinder, and the party goes on to appeal, then the applicant will be affected.
In a short consideration of the issues, the court held that it was far-reaching to think that the grant of an adjournment to enable a party file a motion, will be considered prejudicial to the defence. On that note, Justice Ayokunle Faji adjourned the cased until July 4, to hear arguments on the motion for consolidation, and also fixed July 22, for hearing of the substantive suit.