Court rejects suit challenging appointment of Justice Agugua as Imo Ag CJ

 The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, rejected a suit challenging the appointment of Justice Ijeoma Agugua as acting Chief Judge of Imo by Gov. Hope Uzodinma.
Delivering judgment, Justice Inyang Ekwo, dismissed the suit filed by an indigene of the state, Justin Amadi, on the grounds  that he lacked the legal right to institute the matter.
The governor had, on March 13, 2020, swore in Agugua as the state’s first female acting chief judge.
Unhappy over the development, Amadi, on May 11, 2020, dragged the National Judicial Council (NJC), Imo Judicial Service Commission, Uzodinma, Attorney-General of Imo State, the state House of Assembly and Justice Agugua to court to challenge the legality of the appointment.
He alleged that due process of law was not followed in the selection of the judge.
He had prayed the court to interpret whether the NJC was under the control of the governor, in the exercise of its powers, with regards to recommending a person to fill the position of the state’s chief judge.
Amadi further told Justice Inyang Ekwo that he, being a taxpayer, had a right to challenge whatever he considered as a violation of the laws of the land.
However in his judgement, Justice Ekwo disagreed with Amadi, saying that being a taxpayer or not did not give him the right to tell the justice sector on how to make its decisions.
He described the suit as one borne out of “total malice and mischief.”
“It is an adventure without a cause,” he held.
Justice Ekwo, then, rejected thelack of locus standi.
“The plaintiff cannot and ought not to be allowed to interfere in the business of the first defendant.
“Where the plaintiff has been adjudged to lack locus standi, it does not matter what other issue has been raised for determination in the suit. Those issues have been overtaken by events.
“The plaintiff has no legal right or authority to call the attention of the court for the purpose of litigation.
“I therefore make an order striking out this suit for lack of locus standi by the plaintiff,” the judge said. (NAN)

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