NSE’s motion stalls judgment in Okereke-Onyiuke’s suit against SEC
March 22, 2011 by Akeem Nafiu
Judgment in a suit filed by the sacked Director General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Professor Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, against the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) at a Federal High Court in Lagos presided over by Justice Mohammed Idris, could not be delivered on Monday, owing to a motion filed by the NSE.
The court had at the last adjourned date fixed Monday for judgment in the suit in which Okereke-Onyiuke was challenging her removal by the SEC over allegation of financial impropriety levelled against the NSE’s management by business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.
On the resumption of proceedings on Monday, the judge informed counsel in the matter that a motion filed by the NSE (second defendant) while he was writing his verdict caused his suspension of the judgment.
In the motion dated March 13, 2011 and supported by an 11-paragraph affidavit deposed to by one Ayodeji Jolaosho, NSE is seeking an extension of time to file its defence in the matter.
According to NSE’s counsel, Babatunde Irukerva, the purpose of the motion was to allow the second defendant to articulate its position and not to arrest the judgment.
He said the implication was that the second defendant should be given the opportunity to defend itself and to be properly served with the processes, while the plaintiff should re-adopt its originating summons.
However, Okereke-Onyiuke’s counsel, Bode Olanipekun, while raising his objection, urged the court to discountenance the motion as it had been overtaken by events.
According to him, what the motion sought to achieve was to arrest the judgment and should not be granted by the court.
After hearing their submission, Justice Idris adjourned until April 4, for ruling on the motion and/or to deliver judgment in the matter.
Okereke-Onyiuke had through an application of urgency filed by her counsel, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), challenged her removal from office on the grounds that the action was part of the elaborate design orchestrated by the SEC just to “humiliate” her.