Etim Ekpimah, Uyo
The Federal High Court, Court 2, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, has awarded N5,000 apiece against the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Speaker, Mr. Onofiok Luke; and the Department of State Service.
The presiding judge, Justice Fatun Riman, awarded the costs against Luke and the DSS who are respondents in the case bordering on infringement on the fundamental human rights of Dr. David Udo on Monday.
His lordship, who had listened to arguments from counsels of both parties, awarded the costs against the respondents over the delay in filing their cases.
Counsel to the applicant, Mr. Inibehe Effiong, thanked the judge for the matter, adding that the award signaled Riman’s view to discourage further delay on the matter.
“His lordship graciously awarded N5,000 against the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr. Onofiok Luke, in favour of the applicant.
“It also awarded the cost of N5,000 against the Department of State Services and Mr. Courage Nugueson, who is the security detail attached to the Speaker.
“We thank the court for that,” Effiong said.
According to Effiong, they filed their address in point of law in reaction to the counter-affidavit and the written address to the main application.
He said they were surprised that the respondents still appeared in court and complained that since the plaintiff had reacted to the objection they raised on the suit, they be given time to also file a rejoinder on point of law.
A fundamental right matter has been filed against the Speaker of the House of Assembly, the Police and the DSS.
“We have filed our response contradicting completely what they had said,” Effiong added.
Lead counsel to the Speaker, Mr. Ekemini Udim, said Luke was innocent of what he has been accused of, noting that they have filed their response to that effect.
He said, “Today in court, we have moved our motion for the counter affidavit and the written address to be deemed as properly filed.
“The court graciously granted that application. So, we are on course on our defence of the good name of the Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Mr. Onofiok Luke.”