Tuesday, July 12, 2016 3:54 pm
By Akin Kuponiyi
Nollywood actor, Emeka Ike, today told a Customary Court on Lagos Island, Lagos, south west Nigeria that he had filed an application before a Lagos High Court seeking the lower court to stop further hearing in the divorce suit filed by his estranged wife, Emma Suzanne Ike against him.
Emma Suzanne sometimes in 2015, approached the Customary Court to dissolve the 16- year union between her and the Nollywood actor, on alleged incessant battery.
The actor has vehemently denied the allegation, begging the court not to separate them because he still loves his wife.
When the matter which was slated for judgment today was mentioned, lawyer to the Nollywood actor, Mr. A. Labi-Lawal, told the court that he has filed a stay of proceedings application before a Lagos High Court.
In the application marked FCMP/20054/16, which has Emma Ike, the the Customary Court’s President, Chief Awosola as the first and second defendants, Emeka is seeking the Court’s declaration that the Customary Court of Lagos state lacks requisite jurisdiction to entertain and determine the Emeka’s divorce suit, as the marriage between the estranged couple was conducted in Enugu state of Nigeria, under Igbo Customs and traditions.
Emeka is also urging the High Court to declare that all the proceedings already conducted by the Customary Court of Lagos State in respect of the couple’s marriage which was conducted in Enugu state of Nigeria, under Igbo Customs and traditions are null and void.
The Nollywood actor is also seeking a perpetual injunction restraining the Customary Court’s President, Chief Awosola and any other person appointed in the capacity of entertaining, and/ or continuing the proceedings in respect of the couple’s divorce suit.
In view of this scenario, Labi-lawal therefore urged the court to stay proceedings on the suit pending the hearing and determination of the suit at the High Court.
In opposition to the stay of proceedings application, lawyer to Emma Suzanne Ike, Mr. Iheanyi Awa, urged the court to discontinuance the stay of proceedings application, and go ahead to deliver the judgement.
Awa who said Emeka’s application was aimed at arresting the court’s judgment, told the court that neither his client nor himself has been served with the application.
He said: “It is an attempt to arrest the judgement of the court. I am aware of the respondent to arrest the judgement which is to be delivered today.
“The stay of proceedings has been decided for a long time, and court has ruled that it has jurisdiction to entertain the matter. It is a ploy to frustrate the matter, they just want to delay the matter till another day. Therefore the court should deliver it’s judgment, if they are not satisfied they can appeal”.
After listening to the submissions of both parties, the three-man panel ruled: “In view of the submission of the respondent, the stay of proceedings is hereby granted, and the matter is hereby adjourned indefinitely.”
The author of this story Akin Kuponiyi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org