The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has asked the Court of Appeal to upturn the Federal High Court’s decision to transfer the suit of Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to the National Industrial Court as the Federal High Court lacks the powers to do so.
In a Notice of Appeal filed on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 by the President’s Counsel, Dr. Fabian Ajogwu, SAN, the President formulated 3 grounds of Appeal amongst which are that the Learned Trial Judge erred in law when he made an Order transferring the matter to the National Industrial Court after declining jurisdiction in the matter and striking out a party to the suit and also that the Learned Trial Judge erred in law when he made an Order transferring in part only a fraction of the Plaintiff’s suit to the National Industrial Court, having struck out the name of a party and leaving behind/ transferring the suit and reliefs sought against the party.
You will recall that Mallam Sanusi’s quest to have his suspension as CBN Governor by President Goodluck Jonathan upturned by the Courts suffered a huge setback on May 20, 2014 when Justice Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja agreed with the submissions of Learned Counsel to the President, Dr. Fabian Ajogwu, SAN and learned Counsel to the Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN who had in their Preliminary Objections to Mallam Sanusi’s suit prayed the Court to wash its hands off the matter as it had no Jurisdiction. The Learned Judge declined Jurisdiction to hear the suit and transferred it to the National Industrial Court.
However, it is the contention of Learned Counsel to the President, Dr. Ajogwu, SAN that the proper order for the Learned Trial Judge to have made when it held that it has no jurisdiction was to strike out the suit in its entirety. It is also the Learned Silk’s contention that having determined the matter partially by striking out the 3rd Defendant (Inspector-General of Police) from the suit, the Court cannot transfer a case (against two Defendants) that has become different from what the Plaintiff instituted (three Defendants) before the Court. In other words, the Federal High Court cannot transfer a ‘mutilated’ matter to the National Industrial Court as already, the parties to the suit have been tampered with.
As that the time of going to the Press, there is yet to be a hearing date for this Appeal.