A Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, Abuja, has granted a former governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, leave to sue the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta.
Nyako’s suit was allegedly transferred from Yola, where it had been scheduled for judgment, to Bauchi.
Justice Ishaq Bello granted Nyako’s ex parte application on March 12, but a copy of the order was only obtained on Thursday.
Nyako is seeking an order of mandamus compelling Justice Auta to return the case file he withdrew from Justice Bilikisu Aliyu of the Yola Division of the Federal High Court, so that the reserved judgment of the court can be delivered.
The former governor had filed his fundamental rights enforcement suit before the Federal High Court in Yola, challenging his removal from office in July 2014.
He alleged that he was denied fair hearing by the impeachment panel which recommended his removal from office to the state House of Assembly in July 2014.
Justice Aliyu had fixed February 12 to deliver judgment in the former governor’s suit.
However, between February 3 when Justice Aliyu heard parties in the suit, and February 12, 2015, when the matter was fixed for judgment, Justice Auta called for the case file on account of a pending petition against the presiding judge.
After three weeks of holding the file, Justice Auta transferred the matter to Bauchi Division of the court.
Nyako, had therefore, through his counsel, Mr. Olukoya Ogungbeje, filed the suit, FCT/HC/CV/1289/2015, before the FCT High Court to compel Justice Auta to return the case to the Yola Division of the court.
Justice Bello, in granting the requisite leave to commence the suit, on March 12, ruled that, “An order granting leave to the applicant to apply for an order of mandamus against the respondent (Justice Auta) to return case file in suit FHC/YL/CS/11/2014 to the Federal High Court, Yola”.
The judge had ordered the plaintiff to serve the respondent with his court processes and adjourned the case till March 12. But the court did not sit. The case has now been fixed for March 24.
Meanwhile, Justice M.G Umar of the Federal High Court in Bauchi, where Justice Auta had transferred Nyako’s main suit to, has fixed March 23 for hearing in a separate application asking for an order transferring the suit back to Yola Division of the court.