Why Federal High Court struck out suit against Buhari, DSS, IGP, others over judges’ arrest, detention

– The lawsuit filed against President Muhammadu Buhari, DSS, IGP, AGF and NJC has been declared null and void by a Federal High Court in Abuja

– The suit was filed following allegations that the accused were involved in the order for the arrest and detention of two justices of the Supreme Court

– The plea against President Buhari and others was made by an Abuja based lawyer and human right activities, Olukoya Ogungbeje

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday, October 11, struck out the suit instituted against President Muhammadu Buhari and five others, challenging the October 8, 2016, arrest and detention of two justices of the Supreme Court and four others by the operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS).

The suit also included the director general of DSS, Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the National Judicial Council (NJC), Nigerian Tribune reports.

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The plaintiff, Olukoya Ogungbeje, an Abuja-based lawyer and Human right activities, had dragged Buhari and the rest of the defendants to court. In the suit, Ogungbeje challenged the legality of the arrest and detention of the judicial officers as well as confiscation of their properties.

The lawyer prayed the court to declare the arrest and detention as unlawful, illegal and a breach of the fundamental rights of the judicial officers and also asked the court to award the sum of N50 billion in favour of the judges for the humiliation they suffered as a result of the arrest.

Moreover, the plaintiff asked the court for an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the defendants, their agents and privies from further arresting, intimidating, harassing, inviting, humiliating, detaining, forceful invasion of the residential houses or disturbing the judicial officers in any unlawful manners.

However, the president and the AGF filed a preliminary objection, challenging the locus standi of the plaintiff to institute the court action without the consent of the affected judicial officers.

Both defendants in the objection raised by their counsel, Habiba Chime, urged the court to strike out the plaintiff’s suit on the grounds that he did not disclose what he personally suffered by way of injury on the issue that caused his suit.

They further told the court that the plaintiff’s action is malicious, frivolous, vexatious, lacking in merit and constituted and abuse of the civil process of the court.

Added to this an objection was also raised by the DSS and its DG, who also argued that the plaintiff lacked legal capacity to institute the case and urged the court to strike out the case with substantial cost.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole, in his ruling agreed with the defendants that the plaintiff lacked locus standi to institute the court action on behalf of the judicial officers without their consent.

In the judgment read by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, Justice Kolawole, who has now been elevated to the court of appeal, said that the plaintiff was unable to persuade him that he has the locus standi to fight the battle of the affected judges, who are still alive and have no disability to approach the court to enforce their rights which the conduct of the DSS and its DG had breached by their arrest, detention and confiscation of their properties.

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However, the judge objected to the claim that the plaintiff was a busy body, but maintained that he is lawyer who is generally concerned of the Gestapo style deployed by DSS operatives without recourse to the NJC to assault the base of the independence of the judiciary as the 3rd arm of government by their actions.

Meanwhile, NAIJ.com reported that mayhem erupted at the City King Hotel, Gusau, Zamfara state capital venue of the All Progressives Congress (APC) stakeholders’ meeting as Senator Kabir Marafa and the former minister of state communication, Alhaji Aliyu Bilbis, engaged in a free for all fight.

NAIJ.com gathered that the two arch rivals engaged in exchange of blows. It was also reported that the fight generated tension as the supporters of the two factions were ready for acrimony.

It was reported that the state director of the DSS ordered his men to whisk Senator Marafa as his details attempted to resist but Marafa was said to have asked his aides to remain calm and followed the DSS official to their office.

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Source: Naija.ng

Updated: October 12, 2018 — 8:48 am

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