April 17, 2024

Breaking: Federal High Court Orders Obaseki to Appear and Explain Refusal to Swear-in Judges

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Gov Godwin Obaseki

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By Correspondent

The Federal High Court Abuja has ordered the Governor of Edo State to appear before it and show cause why he has delayed and refused to swear in 8 Judges-designate of the Edo State High Court, who were recommended for appointment as Honourable High Court Judges by the National Judicial Council since June 2023.

The matter with suit number FHC/ABJ/1634/2023 was instituted as a public interest litigation by an Edo-born lawyer Adaze Andrew Emwanta Esq against the Governor of Edo State, the Attorney General and the National Judicial Council (NJC).

The court presided by Hon. Justice O. A Egwuatu after hearing the application and submission of counsel for the Plaintiff/Applicant, Dafenone Akpomudiare Esq, of Idahagbon & Co gave a bench ruling on the motion ex-parte.

The judge in his ruling held that “it is hereby ordered that an Order of this Honourable Court is made for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Defendants/Respondents, their assigns, agents however so called to show cause why the reliefs of the Plaintiff/Applicant in his originating summons should not be granted with respect to the prolonged delay and/or refusal of the 2nd and 3rd Respondents to swear in the eight (8) judicial officers-designate recommended by the 1st Defendant/Respondent as Judges of the Edo State High Court”.

The court subsequently adjourned the matter to the 22nd of January 2024. All the Defendants/Respondents have been served the court enrolled order. Under the Federal High Court rules the Governor and other defendants in the case have three days to comply with the order to show course, by filing their court processes as Respondents to the order of court.

It will be recalled that sometime this week the National Judicial Council (NJC) rejected a request from the Governor of Osun State on a particular judicial appointment.

At its 104th meeting of 6 and 7 December 2023, presided over by Hon. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola GCON the NJC declined the request of Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State asking for approval of the next most senior High Court Judge of the state to function as Acting Chief Judge.

The NJC affirmed that Hon. Justice Ojo is still the recognized Chief Judge of Osun State, and would not work on the resolution of a State House of Assembly, as it is the only body constitutionally empowered to investigate judicial officers and recommend same for any action to the Governor. Consequently, Osun State should revert to status quo.

It will be recalled that Obaseki has recently been mentioned in several crisis bedeviling the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State.

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