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Group raises alarm over conflicting orders by high court judges

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The Centre for Reform and Public Advocacy (CRPA) has raised an alarm over conflicting court orders on the tenure of Area Council Chairmen in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The group in a statement signed by Mr. Ifeanyi Okechukwu described the development as a disturbing trend in the nation’s judiciary in which two court orders were made by two Judges – Justices Ibrahim Mohammed and O. A. Adeniyi – on the same subject matter.

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The group said Justice Mohammed had on May 13, 2022, ruled that the tenure of the Chairmen of the six Area Council and their Councilors in the FCT was now four years.

But in a move to have the judgment set aside, an application was filed by Abubakar Jabrin Giri, the Chairman-elect of Gwagwalada Area Council at the Registry of Justice Ibrahim Mohammed’s Court, while the Minister of the FCT, Mohammed Bello filed another application to set aside the judgment at the Registry of Justice O. A. Adeniyi’s Court.

The group stressed that applications pending in both courts have the same suit number (FCT/HC/CV/910/2022 and the parties in the suit are the same, that is, Idris Nasiru & 4 others VS Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.

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It lamented that both Justice Mohammed and Justice Adeniyi on May 23, 2022, sat and heard the same application in their respective courts and made different orders on the same application to have the judgment of Justice Ibrahim Mohammed set aside.

It said: “What Justice Mohammed and Justice Adeniyi are doing are unprecedented and unheard of anywhere in the history of the judiciary in Nigeria, that two judges of the same court will sit over one suit in their respective courts on the same subject bearing the same suit number and made different orders on the same day.”

The group described the action of the judges as shameful and not a reflection of the high standards expected of judges of the FCT High Court.

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It called on the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court and National Judicial Commission (NJC), and other well-meaning Nigerians to act immediately to save the judiciary from this shameful act.

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