Suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami
By Tobi Soniyi
A fresh suit seeking to stop the reinstatement of the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, was Monday filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja by one Noah Ajarae.
Recall that Justice Abdul Abdulkafarati had on May 30, 2012 dismissed a suit earlier brought by the same plaintiff as grossly lacking in merit and that the plaintiff lacked the locus-standi to institute the action, saying he failed to establish the personal injury he would suffer if Salami was reinstated.
But the plaintiff, who Monday returned to court, joined President Goodluck Jonathan, the Attorney General of the Federation and NJC as first to third defendants.
When the matter was mentioned Monday only the NJC was represented by counsel, Mr. Isaac Paul.
The plaintiff had brought an application seeking for judgment on ground that the defendants did not file any response to its application.
But counsel to NJC told the court that he had responded to the application filed by the plaintiff and that the application for judgment had been overtaken by time.
He also told the court that he would be filing a preliminary objection against the application of the plaintiff and same would be served on him later in the day.
The plaintiff however withdrew the application for judgment and it was subsequently struck out by the judge, Justice Adamu Bello.
The court later adjourned till April 25 for the adoption of all addresses, adding that a fresh hearing notice be served on the first and second defendants.
In its preliminary objection, NJC is asking the court to dismiss the suit for being an abuse of court process and for being incompetent due to lack of locus standi on the part of the plaintiff to institute the action.
NJC had based its objection on the grounds that the subject matter, issues and reliefs sought in the present suit were exactly the same with suit No. FHC/ABJ/27/2012 in Noah Ajare v National Judicial Council and Judicial Reform Committee which was dismissed for want of jurisdiction.
The council further submitted that the plaintiff had filed an appeal against the judgment which was still pending.
It further stated that if the court did not dismiss the suit, there would not be an end to litigation as the plaintiffs had filed exactly the same reliefs as in the previously dismissed suit.
In an 18-paragraph affidavit deposed to by one Rabi Sule Ahman on behalf of NJC, he stated that there was nothing in the entirety of the affidavit in support of the originating summons to establish that the plaintiff had authority of any parties affected or concerned with the subject matter of the suit to file the action or depose to an affidavit.
She stated that most paragraphs of the plaintiff affidavit in support of the originating summons were not statement of facts, and were not information directly available to the plaintiff to warrant him directly depose to them.
NJC therefore urged the court to dismiss the suit in the interest of justice.