THE Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) yesterday urged a Federal High Court, Lagos to vacate an interim order restraining the board from registering candidates for the 2011 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
Justice Okechukwu Okeke had on October, 26, 2010, made an order of injunction restraining JAMB (1st respondent) from securing or retaining the services of Sidmach Technologies Ltd (2nd respondent) and Electronic Test Company Limited (3rd respondent) or any other company for the registration of its candidates for 2011 UTME.
But in a motion on notice brought pursuant to Order 26 Rules 1 and 11 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2009, the board alleges that the plaintiffs in the matter (SW Global Ltd (1st plaintiff), Fleet Technologies Ltd (2nd plaintiff) and Global Portal Services (GPS) Ltd (3rd plaintiff), obtained the interim injunction through concealment, suppression and misrepresentation of facts.
Furthermore, JAMB alleged that the application for the interim orders of injunction was an abuse of the process of the court, saying it was an illegal act.
At the resumption of proceedings on the matter yesterday, there were arguments by counsel as to the order in which the court should hear the various applications before it.
In his submissions, counsel to JAMB, A.R. Fatolude (SAN), argued that the motion for committal filed by the plaintiffs was not ripe for hearing.
According to him, this was sequel to the existing process at the instance of the 1st respondent not only to challenge the courtís jurisdiction to entertain the suit, but also against the background of an existing application that challenges the validity of the ex-parte order granted the plaintiffs.
He said the court must of necessity take the application challenging the validity of the order.
In his submissions, counsel to the 2nd respondent, Adetunji Oyeyipo (SAN), while aligning himself with the arguments of JAMBís counsel, declared that the application seeking committal for contempt should be stepped down for the other two applications.
He said the alleged contempt was committed outside the court and that the rule of natural justice demands that the case should be heard by another judge.
Submissions of counsel to the 3rd respondent, Emmanuel Ochobo was also in line with the arguments of the other respondentsí counsel.
However, in his submissions, counsel to the plaintiff, Dr. Joseph Nwobike (SAN), urged the court to take the contempt proceedings first notwithstanding the pending challenge to the courtís jurisdiction by the defendants.