Tuesday, May 6, 2014 7:07 am
Nnamdi Felix /Abuja
The National Judicial Council, NJC, on Monday challenged the jurisdiction of a Federal High Court siting in Abuja , to entertain a suit brought by the suspended Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice P.N.C Agumagu where he’s seeking a judicial review of his suspension.
The NJC had refused to recognize the judge as the Chief Judge of Rivers state and suspended him from office.
The suspended judge however dragged the NJC before the court challenging his suspension and joined members of the investigative panel set up by the NJC to prbe him, as parties to the suite. The panel members are Justices Babatunde Adejumo, Jubril Idris and Comwell Idahosa.
Agumagu prayed the court to restrain the members of an investigation panel set up to investigate the allegations against him from taking any further steps in respect of his case until the determination of the suit he filed. He also asked the court for an order of certiorari, removing to the court for the purpose of being quashed, the query and letter of suspension from office of the applicant as a judicial officer, Ref. No. NJC/S.32/RV.CCA/1/1/36 dated March 26, and written by the 1st respondent to the applicant as well as the minutes of the decisions reached by the NJC at its emergency meeting of March 26, 2014.
Counsel representing the NJC, Chief Wole Olanipekun, in a preliminary objection, urged the court to strike out the entire suit filed by the suspended judge. He contended that the Federal High Court lacks the jurisdiction to hear the matter.
Justice Agumagu’s attempts to get the court to proceed with his suit by urging it to hear the substantive suit alongside the preliminary objections of the defendants was seriously opposed by the defendants who insisted that the court should first determine whether it had the jurisdiction to hear the matter or not.
The court presided by Justice Adeniyi Ademola, thereafter adjourned to 26 May, to determine which of the application to hear first.