Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has fixed Sept. 28 to hear a suit filed by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) against former Gov. Joshua Dariye of Plateau State.
SERAP dragged Dariye, the Senate President and the National Assembly Service Commission to court, seeking an order to stop the Senate President from continuing to pay Dariye’s allowances while he served out a 10-year prison sentence.
At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, counsel to SERAP, Mr Kehinde Oyewumi, told the court that the suit, which had been filed since 2018, was still pending because of his inability to serve the defendants.
“The suit has suffered series of adjournment because we are unable to serve the 2nd defendant (the Senate President).
“He refused to receive it because he said Dariye is no longer in the National Assembly, and the refusal has been continuous that is why the case has gone nowhere,” he said.
Oyewumi then prayed the court for an adjournment to enable him explore every means possible to serve the defendants.
Counsel to Dariye, Mr Peter Erivwode, however, told the court that the matter had become academic, as Dariye’s tenure elapsed with the 8th National Assembly, while new senators had been sworn-in with the 9th National Assembly.
Erivwode maintained that no amount of adjournment would change the situation.
Justice Ekwo, however, warned Oyewumi that it would be the last adjournment, saying: “When you sue someone, you should know how to serve the person.”
He adjourned the matter until Oct. 28.
SERAP is seeking a court order to compel Dariye to return all salaries and allowances paid to him as a senator while in prison, having not performed the functions of a serving senator during the period.
SERAP is also seeking a declaration that the seat of Dariye in the Senate be deemed vacant, having being convicted and sentenced to a jail term.