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Fresh Hurdle Trails Bid To Block Ibori, Uduaghan, Okowa, Delta Ex-Govs, Deputies’ Pensions As S’Court Orders Fresh Hearing At A’Court

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The Supreme Court’s judgment on the constitutionality of the Pension Rights of Governor and Deputy Governor of Delta State Law 2008, scheduled for July 12, 2024, has been postponed indefinitely.

BIGPEN NIGERIA (https://bigpenngr.com) understands that the case, which challenges the payment of pensions to former governors and their deputies, as enshrined in a law passed by the Delta State House of Assembly was previously dismissed by the High Court and Court of Appeal.

According to report in Thetownhall, the Supreme Court has transmitted the case back to the Court of Appeal for a fresh hearing, citing irregularities in the previous appeal.

As Hon. Justice Garba Lawal of the Supreme Court explained, “Justice Nwosu Iheme, who was part of the Panel that heard the appeal at the Court of Appeal, was not part of the Panel that delivered the judgment. This made the judgment invalid.” Furthermore, Justice Iheme sat on the Panel that heard the appeal at the Supreme Court, which was another anomaly.

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Recalls that the Appellant, Mr. Olakunle Ogheneovo Edun had challenged the law at the High Court of Delta State where it was dismissed on the ground that the appellant had no locus standi to institute the suit.

Not satisfied, the appellant had approached Court of Appeal Benin Division, which also dismissed the appeal.

At the resumed hearing of the case which further went to the Supreme Court, human Rights Lawyer, Femi Falana SAN, sought the leave of the Court to file a brief as an amicus curiae (friend of the court) but the court refused him, stating that the application by Falana, SAN was not in accordance with the Supreme Court Rules.

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At the hearing of the main appeal, the appellant, Mr Olakunle Edun, represented himself, while Mr. Omamuzo Erebe, Delta State Solicitor-General, led three other lawyers from the State Ministry of Justice in defence of the Delta State Governor and the Attorney-General of Delta State.

At the close of hearing held on the 16th of April 2024, the Supreme Court reserved Judgment to 12th July 2024, which has been reportedly suspended indefinitely.

Prior to this, the Supreme Court had invited the appellant and the Delta State Solicitor-General, Omamuzo Erebe, Esq. to address it on Monday, the 27th of May, 2024 about the logjam and the consequent remittal of the case to Court of Appeal to be heard afresh.

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The case affects the pension rights of former governors and their deputies in Delta State, including Chief James Onanefe Ibori, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, and Ifeanyi Okowa.

(Thetownhall, excluding headline)

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