A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, yesterday, ordered the Nigerian Navy not to release the body of the late former governor of Lagos State, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, for burial until it orders so.
While the burial ceremony of the late military administrator is ongoing, his family members are slugging it out in court over right to partake in funeral rites.
The trial judge, C.A. Balogun, also warned parties in the suit filed by Chief (Mrs.) Gladys Ndubuisi Kanu, the second wife of the former governor, does not make mockery of the deceased.
The plaintiff, Mrs Gladys, had filed the suit marked LD/3685FPM/2021 wherein she prayed the court through her counsel, Mr. C.J. Jiakponna, to allow her to participate in the burial rites of the late former governor.
The plaintiff is seeking an order of the court to direct the respondents, their agents or privies, not to threaten her and to allow her properly prepare for the burial slated for next week Saturday.
The respondents in the suit are Kelly Ndubuisi, Nigerian Navy, Simone Nenna Abiona (nee Kanu), Andrey Joe-Ezigbo, Paul Ndidiamaka Kanu, Karen Johnson (nee Kanu), Jeffery Alozie Kanu, Laura Ndubuisi-Kanu, Stephen Ndubuisi Kanu and Josephine Ndubuisi Kanu as first to 10th respondents respectively.
When the case was called yesterday, counsel to the claimant told the court of the order made by another judge, Justice B. Candide-Johnson, which directed all parties in the suit to maintain the status quo and also directed the claimant to properly arrange the names of respondents in the suit.
The court had also with the agreement of all counsels, agreed that the burial is held on October 16, 2021.
The first, third to ninth defendants’ counsel, Mr. Tomilade Shodimu, told the court that the matter was fixed for hearing of the pending applications. He said the judge had ordered lawyers to advise their clients to maintain peace.
Counsel representing the fourth and 10th defendants, Mr. Grant Onwuka, and Mr. Ijewere Ikenna, respectively, affirmed the submission of Mr. Shodimu, noting that they have filed their preliminary objection to the suit.
However, Justice Balogun warned the parties to maintain the peace and ordered lawyers in the suit to regularise their processes.
The court also directed Nigerian Navy counsel, Mr Ikenna, who confirmed that the body of the deceased was in their possession, not to release it to anybody.
“The right thing to do is to allow justice to prevail. The Navy must not release the body of the deceased for now. We must ensure that we don’t make a mockery of an ex-governor. There is no need for that,” he instructed and adjourned the matter till Monday, October 11.