By Alex Enumah in Abuja
Two legal practitioners — Ikenga Ugochinyere and Kenneth Udeze — have appealed the decision of Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which held that the Executive Order 6 issued by President Muhammadu Buhari did not violate the right of citizens to own property.
Justice Ojukwu had in her judgment of October 11, 2018, held that the Executive Order 6 was in line with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Delivering judgment in the suit marked FCH/ABJ/CS/470/2018, the court held that it was within the constitutional powers of the president, as granted by the constitution, to issue Executive Orders for the execution of policies by the executive arm of government, provided such orders respect the principles of separation of powers.
However, the plaintiffs not satisfied with the judgment of the lower court on the matter, have approached the appellate court for an order setting aside the decision of Justice Ojukwu and in its place allow the reliefs sought by the appellants vide the originating summons filed on July 13, 2018.
Also, the plaintiffs filed a motion on notice for an order directing and imposing injunction pending appeal restraining the respondents, jointly and severally, whether by themselves, officers, agents, servants, privies or howsoever called from enforcing, executing or any other manner whatsoever giving effect to the Presidential Executive Order No. 6 of 2018 pending the determination of the appeal.
In the notice of appeal filed on their behalf by their counsel, Obed Agu, the applicants claimed the trial judge erred in law and thereby occasioned miscarriage of justice to the appellants when he found that the Executive Order No. 6 of 2018 did not violate rights of citizens to own property.
The appellants argued that the learned trial judge erred in law and occasioned a miscarriage of justice to the appellants when he unilaterally varied and/or modified the express terms of the Executive Order 6 and the constitutional provisions by issuing judicial caution that the powers of the second respondent (Attorney-General of the Federation) under the Executive Order 6 must be exercised in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which opinion did not arise from the express provision of the Executive Order 6 nor raised before it by any of the parties thereto.
More so, the applicants told the Court of Appeal that Justice Ojukwu erred in law and thereby occasioned miscarriage of justice to the appellants when she shut her eyes against the materials placed before her and deliberately failed and/or refused to make speciflc findings of fact on the issue submitted to it by the appellants.
In addition, the applicants submitted that the judgment delivered by Justice Ojukwu was against the weight of evidence.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the appeal.