By Taiye Agbaje
Abuja, Nov. 24, 2020 The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, adjourned hearing in a suit file by a legal practitioner, Aura Maisamari against the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) until Jan. 27, 2021.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed adjourned the matter when Counsel to the 6the defendant, Hassan Yusuf, informed the court that Maisamari, a legal practitioner, died on June 18 due to an illness.
While Maisamari, in an originating summon with suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/249/2019 was the plaintiff, executive secretary of NIPC; Ms Yewande Sadiku; Babangida Nguroje, chairman, Governing Council of NIPC, are 1st to 3rd defendants respectively.
The suit, filed on March 4, 2019, also has other defendants from 4th to 14th defendants.
The plaintiff had asked the court to determine whether the decision of the 1st defendant to deny him the information required by him in his letter dated Feb. 18, 2019, on information regarding the remuneration package purportedly approved by the Governing Council of the NIPC to draw funds from the Federation Account due to the commission as foreign leave allowance for the executive secretary, spouse and four children for 28 days and flight tickets for the family of six guaranteed unto him (plaintiff) was not a breach of Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, among other prayers.
When the matter was called on Tuesday, the plaintiff was not in court and there was no lawyer representing him either.
Hassan Yusuf, counsel to the 6th defendant (Mr Ali Sani, member, Governing Council), however, told the court that he received the shocking news that the plaintiff (Maisamari) had passed on.
“It was a very sad incident. He died on June 18. He was ill briefly for about a week,” he said.
Yusuf said though the nature of the suit was a personal one, he urged the court to strike out the matter in the interest of the parties.
He said the 1st and 7th defendants had even filed a motion that the court should strike out the matter since Maisamari was dead.
According to him, the 1st defendant motion is dated Sept. 4.
Tunde Adejuwon, who was counsel to 3rd, 5th, 8th,12th and 13th defendants, corroborated Yusuf’s statement and asked the court to strike out the case.
He said though he received a notice of adjournment from the 1st defendant, he left all to the court’s discretion.
Adejuwon:, however, argued that a staff in the law firm of the deceased should have been in the better position to inform the court about Maisamari’s death.
On his part, Benjamin Enemaku, lawyer to the 7th (Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria and member of governing council), said “in order not to waste the time of the court, we feel the matter should be struck out.”
Justice Mohammed, in his ruling, said the court was of the view that hearing notice be issued on the law firm of Maisamari “to ascertain whether he is dead.”
The judge, who adjourned the matter until Jan. 27, 2021, said that hearing notices be issued on other defendants who were not represented in court.