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New Filling Fees: Obey court order, CSCEOS tells Aregbesola •Accuses him of lawlessness

By News Express on 15/03/2017

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•Governor Aregbesola.
•Governor Aregbesola.

A civil rights group, the Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun State (CSCEOS), has urged the State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, to obey the order of the Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo, which gave an interlocutory injunction last week that the state government should maintain status quo pending the determination of the suit before it on the controversial new filling fees.

The group alleged that the state government under the leadership of Mr. Aregbesola was yet to obey the court order by reverting to the old filling fees regime. The group said that disobedience to court order by the state government was unacceptable to the good people of the state, describing Aregbesola as a lawless governor.

It further alleged that the State Chief Judge (CJ), Justice Adepele Ojo conspired with Mr. Aregbesola not to obey the Court order by continuing with the new filling fees in the Registry of the State High Court, alleging that the officials of the State High Court refused to revert to the old fees because the government was yet to give them directive on that effect.

Chairman of the group, Comrade Adeniyi Alimi Sulaiman, in a statement on Tuesday, disclosed that the investigation conducted by the members of the group at the State High Court revealed that the state judicial officers refused to revert to the old fees because the state government was yet to come out with an official circular in respect of the Court judgment.

He described the action of the State Government as lawless, illegal, unconstitutional, evil, ungodly, anathema, abomination, aberration, anti-masses, satanic and crime against God and humanity. He also condemned the state government for initially hike the filling fees, which was seen as a way to deny the masses of the state an access to justice and make justice for sale to the highest bidder in the state.  

He charged the Lawyers under the aegis of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) in the state, not to treat the disobedience of Court order by the state government with levity by ensuring that the Aregbesola administration respects the order of the Court on this issue of national importance, advising the NBA not to turn themselves to toothless bulldog that could only bark but cannot bite. 

According to the group, “Mr. Rauf Aregbesola must abide by the rule of the law because he came in to govern the state through the sanctity of law as laws are made for the assurance of peace, order and good governance in the society. Failure of Rauf Aregbesola’s government to abide by the order of the court would not augur well for our society and we will not hesitate to mobilise the mass of our people for peaceful protest to ensure that the state government obeys the order of the Federal High court on the subject matter.”

“Law is meant to serve the end of justice (Per Awogu, JCA in University of Calabar vs. Ephraim (1993) 1NWLR pt.271, at 551 at 556. Law will not able to serve the ends of justice unless there exists an institutionalised and effective frame work for the enforcement of Laws made for peace, order and good government of the society; while the Court is the last arbiter  of the common man, most especially, downtrodden masses.

“In Nigeria, the Police Force Forms to organise institutionalised framework of the Judgment, endowed with wide statutory powers of law enforcement in line with Section (4) of the Police Act, Cap (359), Laws of the Federation, Nigeria (1990) which provides inter alia: The Police shall be invited and employed for the immediate arrest and interrogation of anybody that against the Court Judgment without further to the any Appellate Court  of that Jurisdiction; the enforcement of laws and order by the Police against anybody necessitates the exercise of restraint on individual or any government who may be suspected of having ran foul of the law; such exercise of restraint (prima facie) and the due enforcement of all laws and regulations…is confrontational  to the sacred Liberty of the individual.”

News Express recalls that Justice Maureen Adaobi Onyetenu of the Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo, had restrained Governor Aregbesola from implementing the increment in the filing fees in the best interest of the common man, ordered that the parties should maintain status quo and the matter was adjourned to March 16, 2017 for hearing.

Penultimate week, the state government through a Circular signed by the Principal Registrar of the State High Court, Mr. Taiwo Jacoob had announced increment in filling fees with immediate effect, adding that the increment with 400 per cent had affected the writ of summon to increase from N4,000 to N40,000 while a divorce fees jumped from N3,000 to N25,000.

Source News Express

Posted 15/03/2017 10:02:12 PM


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