Court strikes out suit against Salami’s recall
Court of Appeal, PCA, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, as the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, yesterday, dismissed the suit that sought to stop President Goodluck Jonathan from okaying his recall. Justice Abdul Kafarati struck-out the suit after the plaintiff, Mr Wilfred Okoli, prayed the Court to discontinue further hearing on the matter.
In his notice of discontinuance dated June 22, Okoli urged the Court to hands-off the case, alleging that the suit was a fraud. According to him, “I neither gave consent nor authorised that the suit be instituted in the first instance. I did not brief anybody whatsoever to commence the suit on my behalf and I do not have any cause of action against any of the Defendants.” Those listed as defendants in the suit were the National Judicial Council, NJC, Justice Salami, the Attorney General of the Federation and President Jonathan.
It would be recalled that when the matter came up for hearing on July 19, the supposed plaintiff told the Court that he was surprised when he heard that his name was used in filing the suit.
Okoli who is a legal practitioner, maintained that though the principal of his chambers, Mr Amobi Nzelu, appeared as his counsel in the matter, he never consented to either the suit or the principal reliefs being sought against the suspended PCA.
Besides, he said he received crank-calls from unknown persons, threatening to deal with him for purportedly frustrating moves to recall Justice Salami. Meanwhile, his principal, Mr Nzelu who was visibly shocked by the action of his junior, maintained that it was a calculated attempt to publicly humiliate him.
Nzelu noted that though he was with the plaintiff before the proceeding commenced, he said Okoli never made such allegation or informed him of any possible threat to his life.
He therefore sought a short adjournment to enable him sort out issues with Okoli who he said developed cold feet in the matter owing to the alleged threats. Sequel to the application, Justice Kafarati ordered both parties to ensure that the controversy was settled before yesterday, a directive that failed to yield result.
Specifically, the suit sought a declaration that President Jonathan was not under any constitutional obligation to act upon the recommendation on the National Judicial Council, NJC, on the issue of Justice Salami.
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