16 Nov 2016

Court Has No Powers to Stop Trial of Arrested Judges – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari, has insisted that the Federal High Court in Abuja has no powers to stop the prosecution of some judges recently arrested over allegations of corruption by security agencies.

Buhari, through his lawyer, Chiesonu Okpoko maintained that the court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain a suit by a Lagos-based lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, which seeks to stop the Federal Government from arraigning seven judges arrested by the Department of State Services, DSS.

The judges Ogunbgeje is seeking justice for include, Justices Inyang Okoro and Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court, Adeniyi Ademola and Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court Abuja, as well as Justice Muazu Pindiga of the Federal High Court, Gombe Division.

Challenging the competence of Ogungbeje’s suit, Buhari’s counsel in a preliminary objection contended that the locus standi of the matter was not disclosed by the plaintiff.

Okpoko maintained that there was no lis (case) between the plaintiff and the Respondents, adding that, “the applicant’s suit as constituted and conceived, is a mere academic exercise and raises hypothetical issues.”

The President’s counsel contended that before the plaintiff could invoke the judicial powers as enshrined in section 6(6) (b) of the 1999 constitution, he must show how his civil rights and obligations were affected or would be affected by the action of the security agencies.

Recall that the DSS in a sting operation recently arrested some judges across the country over allegations of corruption.

Following the arrest of the judges, Ogungbeje had filed a suit before the court, seeking to stop the arraignment of some of the judges.

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