A High Court sitting in Koton-Karfe, Kogi State, on Thursday nullified the April 2 resolution of the House of Assembly recommending the removal of the state Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajanah, for gross misconduct.
The court also set aside the resolution of the assembly recommending the Chief Registrar of the state High Court, Yahaya Adamu, to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) for disciplinary action over alleged gross misconduct.
Justice Alaba Omolaye-Aiileye, the presiding Judge, quashed the resolution on Thursday in Koton-Karfe while ruling on Motion NO. HC/KK02M/201 in the SUIT NO. HC/KK/11CV/2018 brought by the Chief Judge and the Chief Registrar.
The motion had as respondents, Kogi State House of Assembly; Speaker of the House; Bello Hassan Abdullahi, Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee; the Governor of Kogi State and the Attorney-General of Kogi State.
In his ruling, Mr Omolaye-Aiileye said he had come to an “irresistible conclusion” that the resolution of the assembly arising from its sitting of April 2, recommending the removal or stepping aside of the Chief Judge for gross misconduct, must not be allowed to stand.
He said the resolution having been reached in “clear violation of the orders of this court, is, accordingly hereby set aside and declared a nullity.”
“With the positive orders of this court made on December 13, 2018 and reinforced on December 18, 2018, Kogi State House of Assembly ought not to have done anything to give the impression that it was trying to pre-empt the decision of this court.
“It is tragic that the respondents whose primary responsibility is to make laws for the peace, order and good government of Kogi state will be the same institution to be associated with violation of court orders,” he said.
The jurist said it was his considered view that the action of the Assembly was “a blatant and an impudent act which ought not to be tolerated or encouraged in a democratic setting.
“It is an audacious and arbitrary display of naked power, an act that is contrary to all constitutional and democratic tenets,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the applicants approached the court by way of an interlocutory application.
They prayed for an order nullifying and setting aside the resolution passed by the Assembly at its sitting of April 2.
It was alleged in the motion paper that the Assembly acted upon a report submitted to it by its Public Accounts Committee and resolved, amongst others, that the Chief Judge be removed for alleged gross misconduct.
The application was predicated on the sole ground that the resolution of the Assembly, which bordered on the substantive matter, was passed in violation of subsisting orders of the court.
The court had on December 12, 2018, in its ruling on application brought by the claimants/applicants, granted an order of interim injunction restraining the respondents from taking any step in respect of the substantive matter, pending the determination of the Motion on Notice.
NAN recalls that the court had on April 12, adjourned sine die, ruling on the motion as the court abruptly shut down during a two-hour stand down, following sudden withdrawal of police personnel from the court on “Order from above.”