The Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja has quashed a suit challenging the legality of the appointment of Justice Ijeoma Agugua as Imo State Acting Chief Judge, by Governor Hope Uzodinma.
Honorable Justin Brown Amadi, an indigene of the state, had on May 11, 2020, sued the National Judicial Council, Imo State Judicial Service Commission, Uzodinma, Attorney-General of Imo State, the Imo State House of Assembly and Justice Agugua, over her appointment.
Undeterred by the court action, the governor, on March 13, 2020 sworn-in Agugua as the state’s first female Ag. chief judge.
But Amadi dragged the defendants to the Abuja court, alleging that they did the bidding of the governor in the selection of the judge and that they were not allowed to independently make suitable recommendations.
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’s counsel (represented on Friday by Peter Nwatu) 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.
But in his judgement on Friday, Justice Ekwo disagreed with Amadi, saying that being a taxpayer or not does not give him the right to tell the justice sector how to make its decisions.
He described the suit as one borne out of “total malice and mischief on the part of the plaintiff; it is an adventure without a cause.”
Hence, the judge struck out the plaintiff’s suit for not having any right to appear before the court over the matter.
“The plaintiff cannot and ought not to be allowed to interfere in the business of the first defendant. In conclusion…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 overtaking by events, the plaintiff have 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 of the plaintiff,” he said.