By Okechukwu Onuegbu
A Federal High Court sitting in Awka, Anambra state has granted leave to Hon. Ikem Uzoezie, the factional speaker of the State House of Assembly to serve the embattled speaker Mrs. Rita Maduagwu by substituted means.
Maduagwu, it would be recalled, was impeached as speaker of the Assembly by 22 members of the House on November 13 same day Uzoezie was elected as a replacement.
Justice Bature Gafai, gave the order, after Mr. Emeka Agbapuonwu, counsel to Uzoezie told the court that while the other defendants have been successfully served, Maduagwu had evaded service.
Agbapuonwu also said he could not serve Maduagwu, because the assembly complex had been sealed by the police, and attempts to serve her at her residence were resisted by police guards who did not allow the bailiff access.
The assembly complex was taken over by the police since November 15. He therefore prayed the court to grant his application to serve by substituted means.
Uzozie is seeking an interlocutory injunction stopping Mmaduagwu from parading herself as speaker, having been impeached by the required number of members of the Anambra House of Assembly.
Joined in the suit are Hon. Harford Oseke, the deputy speaker; Gov. Willie Obiano and Mr. Garba Umar, commissioner of police in the state as second, third and fourth defendants. Other reliefs sought include an injunction asking Obiano to stop recognising any other person as speaker other than himself, to stop police from hindering him from exercising his duties as speaker and impeding the access of members and staff into the legislative complex.