The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has been asked to invoke its powers and abort any move by President Goodluck Jonathan to reinstate the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami.
Salami was on August 18, 2011, axed from office by the National Judicial Council, NJC, on allegation that he violated the code of conduct for judicial officers in the country by engaging in acts of “judicial misconduct.”
The plaintiff, Mr Noah Ajare, is challenging the powers of the NJC to make such recommendation despite the pendency of the subject matter of the substantive controversy before a competent court of jurisdiction, contending that any action taken by Jonathan in relation to the case would not only amount to sub-judice, but constitute a deliberate affront on the statutory duties of the judiciary.
Aside the NJC, also joined as defendants in the suit, were the President and the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF.In an originating summons he filed yesterday, Ajare sought a declaration that all the meetings, discussions and recommendations for the reinstatement of Salami by the President, on the recommendations of the NJC, were illegal, unconstitutional, null and void, as the matter is subjudice.
The plaintiff further sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their servants, agents or privies from implementing, discussing and or rectifying the recommendations of the NJC in respect of Justice Salami pending the hearing and determination of pending court actions so as not to create a wrong precedent.
In a 22-paragraph affidavit deposed to by one Omolara Adeogun, the plaintiff said he was not against the reinstatement of Salami, but wanted due process of the law to be followed in order not to set an unhealthy precedent, capable of sustaining such uncanny controversies in the future.
He noted that the matter was no longer personal for the original parties involved, saying it has assumed a national dimension with global attention and as such entails that caution must be observed.
The plaintiff further argued that if there was no extant order of the court, the 1st defendant, Jonathan, may pre-empt the due process of the court.He stressed that the face-off between the former CJN and the PCA, shook the entire judiciary to its very foundation and climaxed when the PCA instituted a court action against the then CJN at the Federal High Court, saying there was a grave concern among Nigerians particularly at the Bar, concerning the integrity of the judiciary.
The plaintiff, who described the judiciary as the most sacred arm of the three arm of government, said as the last hope of the common man, its sacredness ought to be preserved through the instrumentality of the law and due process.
Meantime, no date has been fixed for the hearing of the case which was yet to be assigned to any judge for adjudication.