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FG Moves To File Appeal Against Sanusi Over Jurisdiction

**as legal fire works begins tuesday

Counsel representing the federal Government chief Mike Ozekheme, SAN may today file an appeal before a court of Appeal sitting in Abuja challenging the ruling of the of the federal high court sitting in Abuja over its decision that its has the jurisdiction to hear the matter.

The  Court had  fixed April today to commence hearing in the substantive suit filed by the sacked governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi challenging his sack along side the Preliminary Objection filed by the Federal Government challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit.

The Federal Government had however through its counsel,Chief  Mike Ozekhome SAN said it will challenge the decision at the Court of Appeal as he insisted that the Federal High Court has no jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

 

The Federal Government had  on February 19 sacked Sanusi over   report by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria FRCN alleging Sanusi of Financial recklessness.

 

Not satisfied with his sack, Sanusi had through his counsel Kola Awodein SAN dragged President Goodluck Jonathan and two others before the court.

 

At the resumed hearing of the suit, counsel to Federal Government, Chief Mike Ozekhome brought a Preliminary Objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court.

 

Counsel to the Plaintiff, Awodein, SAN however prayed the court to take both the preliminary objection and the substantive suit together.

 

Chief Ozekhome and counsel to other defendants objected to the prayer.

 

They argued that the court has no jurisdiction to entertain the substantive suit.

 

They further submitted that by hearing both applications, the court would have entered jurisdiction which the constitution did not vest on it.

 

They rather urged the court to hear the objection first.

 

Delivering a short ruling, the presiding judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole held that the court will take both the objection and the substantive suit together.

 

He further held that it will be disservice to set down the plaintiff’s application in favour of the defendants position to hear the suit separately.

 

He stated that it is judicially expedient and in the interest of justice to hear both the objection and the substantive suit together.

 

He however gave the parties 10 days to exchange their processes.

 

He later adjourned till today for hearing of both applications.

 

Speaking to Nigerian pilot after the court session, Ozekhome said that he had applied for the ruling as it will be challenged at the Appeal Court.

 

Nigerian pilot  recalls that Justice Kolawole had on February 26 refused an ex parte motion filed by Sanusi seeking to set aside his suspension by President Goodluck Jonathan.

 

The court instead ordered that the President should be put on notice, and adjourned for both sides (Sanusi and Jonathan) to argue the motion.

 

In the motion he filed on February 24, the apex bank chief asked the court to reinstate him, and also make an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the President, the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Inspector-General of Police from stopping or preventing him from performing the functions of the CBN governor and enjoying in full, the statutory powers and privileges attached to the office.

 

While urging the court to immediately grant the motion, Sanusi had argued that any delay might cause irreparable and serious damage and mischief on him in the exercise of his statutory duties as the CBN governor.

 

Ruling on the ex parte motion,Justice Kolawole  directed Sanusi to put the defendants on notice to enable them appear before the court to explain why the application should not be granted.

The court noted that he felt hesitant and constrained to grant Sanusi,s ex parte motion.

He explained that it was unsafe to grant far reaching interim orders which have all the attributes of a mandatory injunction without giving the defendants a hearing.

Also, according to the judge, once the defendants have been served with the originating summons and motion on notice, the court would need to determine whether, considering the Third Alteration Act No. 20 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, the Federal High Court has the jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

AmarSim Associations Development Consultants

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