Wale Oyewale, Ibadan
There was a drama at the Oyo State High Court 2, Ibadan on Friday when two lawyers announced they were representing the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), in the case filed by the Oyo State Government against the 68 sacked council chairmen following the leadership struggle for the control of the councils.
The state government had instituted a case against the sacked chairmen and joined Malami, the state Commissioner of Police and Inspector-General of Police as respondents.
When the case was called, Abiodun Amole from Chief Niyi Akintola’s Chambers stood up to announce his presence for the AGF, he was interrupted by a Principal State Counsel from the Federal Ministry of Justice, Abuja, Mrs. A. O. Ukpai.
Ukpai said she came from Abuja to represent the minister.
The two lawyers could not agree on who the rightful counsel was.
However, Ukpai told the court that she was given a letter from the ministry to that effect.
Amole requested that the case be stood down to enable him to consult his principal.
His application was however opposed by counsel for the Oyo State Government, Dr Akin Onigbinde, who called the attention of the court to a letter he received from Yusuf Ali (SAN) indicating that he had been consulted to take over the case.
He requested that the case be adjourned till April 13 and 14 for Ali to take over. However, other counsel in the matter said the dates were not convenient. They later agreed on May 11 and 12.
In his ruling, Justice Mashood Abass ordered Amole and Ukpai to settle the issue of the rightful lawyer for the minister before the next adjournment.