By Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa
The Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, has ordered substituted service on the All Progressives Congress (APC), its candidate in the November 16 governorship election, Chief David Lyon and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The court, presided over by Justice Jane Iyang, gave the directive to a former Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Heineken Lokpobiri, in a case he filed against the party, challenging the primary election that led to the emergence of Lyon.
At the preliminary hearing of the suit, Justice Iyang granted the exparte motion for substituted service and three other reliefs sought by Lokpobiri, who was a frontline aspirant in the party’s September 4 primary election.
Iyang, however, declined to issue an order of abridgement of time, which required the defence to enter appearance, file and serve their respective defence process within seven days following the plaintiff’s prayer that the matter required accelerated hearing.
She said the plaintiff could not unilaterally abridge the time of response of the defence’s lawyer.
Iyang said following the argument by the plaintiff’s lawyer, Fitzgerald Olorogun that the respondents were running away from being served, the service should be done by pasting the document on the wall.
She ordered that Lyon be served by pasting the service on the campaign secretariat along Isaac Boro Expressway, while INEC’s copy should be pasted on its secretariat along Swali Road.
Speaking at the end of the proceedings, Olorogun described the decisions of the court as a positive development.
“It would have been difficult to serve these people with the service. With the court order, it will no longer be difficult.
“You are all aware that Lyon has been running away from service. We are now to come back for the report of service on October 14.”