Court Strikes Out Saraki’s Fundamental Rights Suit
A Federal High Court, Lagos, yesterday struck out a suit filed by Senate President Bukola Saraki, seeking enforcement of his fundamental human right. The trial judge, Ibrahim Buba, in a ruling, declared that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
Saraki had filed the action through his counsel, Mr Ajibola Oluyede on September 30. The applicant joined the Attorney General of the Federation, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission as respondents.
Others are Inspector General of Police, Code of Conduct Bureau, Code of Conduct Tribunal and Justice Danladi Umar, Mr Ataedze Adza, Mr Sam Saba, Mr Mohammed Diri and Mr M.S Hassan.
Oluyede had earlier brought an exparte application before the court, but Justice Buba had ordered that the respondents be put on notice. The court also raised the issue of jurisdiction and ordered counsel to address the court on whether it had jurisdiction to hear the suit.
When the matter was mentioned yesterday, Counsel to Saraki informed the court that all parties to the suit had been respectively served with the court processes. Buba however, told counsel to address the court on the issue of jurisdiction.
Addressing the court, Oluyede argued that the respondents were threatening his client’s right to fair hearing.
He said that this arose out of a political situation in which they desired him to vacate his office as senate president.
He, therefore, submitted that the applicant was at liberty to commence a fundamental right action anywhere; so far he feels his rights were been infringed upon.
In response, counsel to the respondents, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) urged the court to dismiss the applicant’s suit for lack of merit. According to Jacobs, the applicant’s suit was an attempt to obtain a “black market order” adding that it amounted to judicial rascality.
In his ruling Justice Buba held that the issue of Jurisdiction was paramount. “If there is no evidence that the infringement or likely infringement cut across more than one state, then the court will not have the vires or jurisdiction to entertain same.”
The filing of further affidavit after the court raised the issue of jurisdiction suo moto, is not only an after thought, but amounts to fishing. “Accordingly, this court has no hesitation in coming to the inevitable conclusion that from the material placed before this court, the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain this suit. Same is hereby struck out,” Buba held.