Breaking News: Lawyer Seeks Court Order Restraining Jonathan From Sacking, Suspending Jega

A lawyer, Mr Realwan Okpanachi, has filed a
suit before an Abuja Federal High Court, seeking a court order
restraining President Goodluck Jonathan from sacking/suspending INEC
Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega from office.

Okpanachi, through his counsel, Mr Phillip Abalaka, in the suit marked
FHC/ABJ/CS/204/2015, via an originating summons, joined the
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, and INEC,
as co-defendants.

The plaintiff claims that he instituted the action pursuant to
Sections 155 and 157 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, as amended,
and order 3 Rule 6 of the Federal High Court.
PRESIDENT-Goodluck-Jonathan
Okpanachi formulated three issues for determination by the court and
also seeks seven reliefs. The action is supported by a 20-paragraph
affidavit deposed to by Barrister Caroline Abah, his Personal
Assistant.

The first issue is “whether, in view of the provisions of Sections
155 and 157 of the Constitution, the President can remove the INEC
Chairman from office before the expiration of his office without
approval of two-third majority of the Senate.’’

The second issue is “whether, in view of the fact that Jega’s
appointment is not regulated by civil service rules, the president can
direct him to proceed on terminal leave before his tenure expires on
June23.’’

Issue three is “whether in view of the provisions of Section 157, or
any other provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria 1999, the President or any other person or authority can
validly suspend the chairman of INEC, Prof Attahiru Jega from
office.’’

Abah, in her supporting affidavit, claims that the plaintiff filed the
suit “to prevent the looming abuse or violation of the constitution
by the President as a result of his plan to suspend/and or remove Jega
before the expiration of his tenure, which is due in June 2015.’’

“I reasonably believe that the underground moves by the president to
suspend or remove Prof. Attahiru Jega from being the chairman of INEC
before the expiration of his tenure in June, 2015, if not urgently
restrained, would not only throw Nigeria into constitutional crisis
but destroy our hard-earned democracy.

“If the 1st and 2nd defendants are not restrained from
removing/suspending Prof. Attahiru Jega from office before the
expiration of his tenure, which is due in June, the general elections
scheduled for March 28 and April 11, will be truncated and our nascent
democracy will be destroyed,’’ she said.

The plaintiff is, therefore, seeking the following seven reliefs from the court:

A declaration that neither the President nor any other person or
authority “can validly remove INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega,
from office before the expiration of his tenure without acting on an
address supported by two-third majority of the Senate praying that he
be removed.’’

A declaration that INEC Chairman’s “appointment is not regulated by
the Civil Service Rules and, as such, Jega cannot be directed by the
President to proceed on terminal leave before the expiration of his
tenure in June, 2015.’’

A declaration that neither the President nor any other person or
authority “can validly suspend the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru
Jega, from office.’’

“An order restraining the President or any other person or authority
from removing Prof. Attahiru Jega from office as INEC Chairman
without acting on an address supported by two-third majority of the
Senate praying that he be removed.’’

“An order restraining the President or any other person or authority
from directing Jega to proceed on terminal leave for any reason
whatsoever before the expiration of his tenure, which is due in June,
2015.’’

“An order restraining the President or any other person or authority
from suspending Prof. Attahiru Jega, INEC Chairman, from office before
the expiration of his tenure, which is due in June, 2015.’’

“An order restraining the 2nd defendant (INEC), either by itself, its
National Commissioners, Resident Electoral Commissioners or officials
from recognizing any person other than Jega as INEC Chairman, whether
in acting capacity or otherwise, before the expiration of Jega’s
tenure, which is due in June, 2015.’’

The suit which is dated March 5 and filed same day, has been assigned
to Justice Abdul Kafarati, and is slated for hearing on March 23.

Author: News Editor

2787 stories / Browse all stories

Related Stories »

Provide your email below, and we will notify you the latest news freely.

sjdating    

calendar »

March 2015
M T W T F S S
« Feb   Apr »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031