Court declines application to stop re-arrest of judges

Posted by News Express | 29 October 2016 | 1,639 times

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A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has declined an application filed by a Lagos-based lawyer, Mr Olukoya Ogungbeje, seeking an order stopping the arrest or any “untoward action” against the eight judges whose houses were recently raided by the operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Those he wants restrained by the order include President Muhammadu Buhari, the Department of State Services, the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Police.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole in a bench ruling delivered after Mr Ogungbeje’s counsel, Ayo Ogundele, moved the ex parte application, held that he needed to resolve a number of issues including the locus standi of the plaintiff in an inter-party hearing before he could make a pronouncement on the prayer.

The plaintiff had sought, “An order of interim injunction restraining the respondents, their agents, servants, privies, men, officers or anybody deriving authority from them by whatever name called from further arresting, intimidating, arresting, inviting, seizing or taking

any untoward action against the arrested and affected honourable judges and judicial officers pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”

The plaintiff had filed the ex parte application following his apprehension that the judges arrested in various parts of the country between October 7 and 8 will be charged and arraigned in court any time soon.

Having declined the application, the trial judge ordered that five of the six respondents, comprising President Buhari, Director-General of the DSS, Mr. Lawal Daura; the DSS; the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami; and the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to appear in court on November 15 to show cause why the interim restraining order against further arrest of the judges should not be granted.

The sixth respondent to the suit is the National Judicial Council.

Justice Kolawole also ordered that the plaintiff’s motion on notice be served on the respondents who shall be entitled to respond within seven days of being served.

Ogungbeje had on October 14 filed the substantive suit seeking 10 prayers, among which is an order awarding 50 billion Naira against the defendants as “general and exemplary damages.”

He alleged that the arrest of the judges without recourse to the NJC was unlawful and amounted to humiliating them. (Channels TV)


Source: News Express

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