• Monday, July 15, 2024
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Court agrees with Indorama defence counsels, orders parties to file pleadings

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The claim filed at the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt by a Group from Alesa said to be a non-host community in Eleme, Rivers State, is gathering momentum as the Court orders parties to file pleadings.

Also, the justice, Stephen Daylop Pam, fixes June 6, 2024, for the beginning of hearing in the case that has over 100 witnesses and many experts lined up to testify.

The case, No: FHC/PH/CS/23/2024, was filed by Johnson Kingsley Mba-Ngei, claiming over one trillion naira for water pollution.

When the case came up on Wednesday at the Federal High Court 4, fierce argument ensued between the lead counsel for the claimants, Mohammed Mohammed, and the lead counsel for Indorama, Godwin Omoaka.

Mohammed for the claimants insisted that the case should proceed through ‘originating summons’ but the defendants wanted it to be by ‘filing of pleadings’.

Both parties, despite frequent exchange of banters calling each other friends, however, insisted on their points.

The claimants argued and quoted several clauses in the Nigerian Constitution, saying the witnesses were ready and that all positions had been filed.

They urged the Court to proceed. The claimants counsel said those living near the water source needed urgent action.

Omoaka for the defendants said the volume of documents and witnesses involved needed the Court to go by way of filing pleadings.

The justice agreed with them and ordered parties to file their pleadings for hearing to begin on June 6, 2024.

The same Mba-Ngei and his team had sued Indorama demanding to make their community, Alesa, one of the host communities in Suit No: FHC/PH/CS/23/2024. That seemed not to have achieved desired results.

Explaining the facts of the day’s proceedings to newsmen outside the Court room, the lead defence counsel, Omoaka, said: “The bottom line is that the case is to come by way of pleadings, and we are satisfied with that.

“The plaintiffs claimed that Indorama polluted their water bodies. They said they have evidence and they are claiming trillions of naira. Now, it is time to face the matter in Court.”