Contempt: Court Orders Arrest Of Ex-Nigeria Goalie, Dosu Joseph, Others

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Mohammed Shosanya

Justice Rasul Olukolu Of Osborne division of Lagos High Court, has ordered the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, to arrest and prosecute a former Nigeria goal keeper, Mr. Dosu Joseph and 12 others, for disobeying several court orders stopping election of Lagos State Football Association.

Others ordered to be investigated and prosecuted by the Commissioner of Police are: R. A. Taiwo; Adeiloya F. O; Alil Lukman Sonibare; Atoun Dele; Dr. Osondu Martins; Hon. Olabode Babaington; Ajiroba Oluwasegun; Oyekan Oluwatobi; Emmanuel Osiaron O.; Benjamin Amiame; Danny Nazzal and Osahon Emokpae.

Olukolu made the above orders, while ruling on Form 48 and 49 filed before the court by Fuad Oki, the applicant in the suit marked LD/10997GCMW/2024, against all the contemnors.

Justice Olukolu held that “there are controverted Affidavit evidence before the Court on the continuous flouting of the Court’s Order “by all the defendants in this suit. This Court granted an interim Order dated March 21, 2024, and was flagrantly flouted by the defendants, when they went ahead to conduct the scheduled meetings which the Court sought to present by the said order. Again, this Court granted a status quo Order on April 8, 2024, there were reports that the defendants flouted the Order as if Nigeria is a Banana Island with no law and Judicial system.

“This Court, again ordered in the last two proceedings that the defendants, should appear before the Court, again, the orders were flouted with the concurrence of their Counsel, Mr. Honvu.

“This Court needs to maintain the sanctity and the integrity of Court and the judicial system. However, i countenanced the fact that by a disobedience to a Court Order is a contempt, which is committer exfacie curiae (out the Court), and this court cannot be a Judge in its own cause (nemo judex in causa sua).

“This has been the position as stated by the appellate courts for instance, In Alake V. Attorney General, (1987) 11 SC 153, the Supreme Court held that: “the position therefore is that generally, contempt’s of Court are either dealt with by trial summarily, particularly when the contempt is in curiae facie without the process of trial, but where the contempt is ex facie curiae, it should be tried by another judge. A judge should not try a contempt in which he is involved. See also The A G. Edo State and Anor V. Churchgate Industries Limited (2016) LPELR-41439CA, and Banwat and Anor V. Association of Medical Laboratory Scientist of Management (2018) LPELR-45275 CA. 4

“It is for ths reason that the contempt aspect of this suit shail be referred to the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, to investigate and prosecute any erring defendants and Counsel through the Office of the Honourable Attorney General of Lagos State. I so order.”

The court’s orders were sequel to a suit filed by Fouad Oki, chairman, Lagos State Football Association, against all the defendants/contemnors over the election of the association.

Oki,in an affidavit in support of the suit, states that in defiance of the Order of Court and to make an unjustifiable mockery of the jurisdiction of the Court, the defendants/applicants had gone on to dissolve all the Standing Committees of the Lagos State Football Association.

He also stated that the defendants notwithstanding the order of the court caused to be made several publications online in full advertence of the subsistence of the order of court.

He added that the defendants/applicants were served the Order of this Court not to mention that the order was conspicuously posted on the Notice Board of the LSFA which is at the entrance to the office of the Secretary to the Lagos State Football Association, same venue where the defendants/applicants held several meetings and location where the ECG congress ordered not to be held by the court.

He also stated that from many publications caused to be published and released online the defendants/applicants and all the defendants knew of the existence of the order of the court but continued to defile same with confidence by carrying out actions and activities that are ordinarily reserved for the claimant.

The deponent also stated that: “I know very well that should the Honourable Court grant their application without them purging themselves, the defendants/applicants will become roguishly emboldened using the judicial system to advance their recalcitrance.

“That I state again that the defendants/applicants are not entitled to the leave of this Court when they continue to act as if the Honourable Court spoke into a void. And that I know the Honourable Court is capable of exercising its coercive powers against a party who constructively disobey the of Order of this Honourable Court and makes acting contrary to its orders.

“That I deposed to this affidavit in good faith, believing same to be true and correct and in accordance to the Oaths Law of Lagos State.

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