Court throws out SEC’s motion against Okereke-Onyiuke


Written by Friday Ekeoba, Lagos Tuesday, 31 August 2010


In what was believed to be a first win, on Monday, a federal high court, in Lagos, has thrown out a motion filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), praying that the preliminary objection to the suit instituted by the sacked Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Professor Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, should be heard before the substantive suit.


The presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Idris,  in a note of finality, said the SEC’s motion lacked merit and, consequently, dismissed it.It will be recalled that Okereke-Onyiuke was challenging her removal from office on the ground that the action was part of the elaborate design orchestrated by the SEC just to “humiliate” her.


During the proceedings, on Monday, counsel for SEC, Ibifubara Berenibara, had urged the court to hear the preliminary objection to the suit before the substantive application.Berenibara premised his argument on the ground that once there was a challenge to  the court’s jurisdiction, the court would have to first determine whether or not it had jurisdiction before taking further steps.


He also argued that affidavit evidence had not been presented to the court in the matter, adding hat where there was conflict in the affidavit evidence, oral  evidence would be required to resolve it.But counsel for Okereke-Onyiuke, Wole Olanipekun, faulted the arguments,  saying that the contention by Berenibara was not the actual position of the law.


Justice Idris consequently upheld Olanipekun’s arguments and ruled that the two applications be heard together.He also directed the defendant to file its counter-affidavit to the main suit and fixed October 19 for hearing.





Comments are closed.