Mallam Lamido Sanusi
Fresh developments in the suit filed by Lamido Sanusi to challenge his suspension as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, have sparked a sense of uncertainty about the suit which is coming up for mention at the National Industrial Court, on Friday (today).
Justice Gabriel Kolawole of a Federal High Court in Abuja had in his judgment delivered on May 20, 2014, ruled that his court lacked jurisdiction to determine the suit and therefore ordered that the matter be transferred to the National Industrial Court.
However, it is uncertain if the National Industrial Court will be able to determine the suit, as our correspondent learnt on Thursday that all the parties in the suit had filed separate notices of appeal against the Federal High Court judgment.
Counsel for the Attorney-General of the Federation, the second defendant in the suit, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), confirmed to our correspondent on Thursday that all the parties in the suit, including his client, had appealed against the judgment.
“We don’t know what will happen until we get to court tomorrow (Friday) because all the parties including the plaintiff have appealed against the Federal High Court judgment,” Ozekhome told our correspondent on the telephone.
Justice Kolawole, having struck out the Inspector General of Police as a defendant in the suit, the remaining defendants in the suit are, President Goodluck Jonathan and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke.
In addition to his notice of appeal, Sanusi has filed a stay of proceedings, urging the National Industrial Court to wait for the Court of Appeal to determine his appeal before hearing the suit.
Sanusi, through his counsel, Mr. Kola Awodein (SAN), raised 20 grounds of appeal in his notice of appeal dated May 28, 2014.
Awodein contends in the notice of appeal that the Federal High Court erred in law by declaring that it lacked jurisdiction to determine the suit.
The lawyer maintained that contrary to the judge’s ruling, Sanusi’s case was not labour and employment-related and therefore the court ought to have affirmed jurisdiction over the matter.
On their part, the President’s counsel, Mr. Fabian Ajogwu (SAN), and the AGF’s lawyer, Ozekhome, have also filed separate notices of appeal on similar grounds that the Federal High Court lacked the power to transfer the matter to the industrial court.
They insisted that the court ought to have either dismissed or struck out the matter since it ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
Sanusi had filed his suit dated February 24, 2014 urging the Federal High Court to nullify his suspension by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The plaintiff had contended that in line with the provisions of the CBN Act even if the President had the power to suspend him from office, he (the President) could not do so without the support of two-third majority of the Senate.