After the court struck out the assault charges he brought against Bishop David Oyedepo; lawyer Robert Igbinedion has headed to the Appeal Court.
In the court papers filed at the Court of Appeal in Ibadan and obtained by PREMIUM TIMES; Mr. Igbinedion is asking the appellate court to set aside the ruling of the High court.
In July, Justice Mobolaji Ojo of the Ogun State High Court had dismissed all the charges brought against Mr. Oyedepo, the multi billionaire founder of the Living Faith Church International.
Mr. Igbinedion had filed a N2billion suit on behalf of a young lady who was slapped by Mr. Oyedepo during a church service in 2009.
Among other requests, Mr. Igbinedion also asked the court to compel Mr. Oyedepo to issue a self-signed public apology to be published in two national dailies and one international satellite television station.
In his ruling, Mr. Ojo noted that the applicant neither claimed to have attended the service at which the alleged slapping incidence occurred nor stated the date of occurrence.
The trial judge also faulted the applicant’s further affidavit saying it introduced new and fresh issues into the case.
‘Judgement on technicalities’
In his appeal papers, Mr. Igbinedion stated that the judge placed “unnecessary and undue reliance” on technicalities.
“It was not disputed by the respondents that (Mr. Oyedepo) slapped the (young lady) during a church service,” said Mr. Igbinedion.
“Consequently, it was unnecessary for the applicant to show in the affidavit that he attended the service where the slapping occurred, disclose the source of his information or state the date of occurrence,” he added.
Mr. Igbinedion also insisted that he did not introduce fresh issues into the case.
“The learned judge did not state or clarify the ‘new or fresh issues of facts’ which he stated that the applicant introduced…
“He failed to properly direct his mind to the issues before him or provide the reasons for his conclusion.”
The young lady who was slapped nor her family never attended the court’s proceedings prompting the trial judge to demand the beneficiary of the monetary compensation.
But Mr. Igbinedion maintained that he would not disclose her identity to prevent her from “further harm.”
“It is ultra vires the power of the trial judge in determining a fundamental right application to question how a victim, who is ably represented by counsel, will get proceed of judgment and go ahead to dismiss the suit on that ground,” Mr. Igbinedion said.
At the conclusion of the trial last July, David Olushola, one of Mr. Oyedepo’s counsels and a pastor in his church, told PREMIUM TIMES that the applicant was “out to discredit a well known man of God, just to rubbish his name that he earned by a dint of hard work.”
“We are prepared at any level to meet him. We have gotten victory in the first leg, the second leg will be a walk over,” Mr. Olushola had said.