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Conflicting ex parte orders: CJN to quiz 6 Chief Judges today

The Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman National Judicial Council (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad will today quiz six Chief Judges over the conflicting court orders that emanated from their states.

 

New Telegraph’s scoop revealed that the CJN had demanded for the records of proceedings in all the suits from which conflicting ex parte orders emanated. The judicial officers to be quizzed are the Chief Judges of Rivers, Kebbi, Cross Riv

ers, Anambra, Jigawa and Imo states. Asides the six Chief Judges, there are indications that the Chief Judge, Delta State High Court, has also been invited to join the other six Chief Judges to meet with the Chief Justice of Nigeria .

 

It was equally learnt that the unprecedented move is to reset the anti-corruption efforts of the CJN leadership and entrench a new culture of accountability in the judicial system.

A source in the know, who craved anonymity, disclosed that it is also likely that the CJN will meet with the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in the course of the week, over the matter.

 

The CJN had last week summoned six Chief Judges to an emergency meeting over conflicting court orders that emanated from their judicial divisions in the last one month. The source, who confirmed the development, said the CJN was deeply embarrassed that such conflicting orders emerged from courts

 

 

of coordinate jurisdiction. The CJs are to explain the rationale behind the incessant granting of conflicting ex-parte applications by judges in their divisions, especially on suits instituted by members of various political parties.

 

A memo dated August 30, 2021 by the CJN reads in part: “My attention has been drawn to media reports to the effect that some courts of coordinate jurisdiction were granting conflicting ex-parte orders on the same subject matter.

 

“It has become expedient for me to invite you for a detailed briefing on the development. “This is even more compelling having regard to earlier NJC’s warning to judicial officers on the need to be circumspect in granting ex-parte applications.”

 

New Telegraph learnt that the meeting between the CJN and the heads of courts is a prelude to an extended meeting of members of the NJC scheduled for next week. “Judges found to have been involved in the issuance of frivolous ex-parte orders in politically motivated cases will be made to face NJC panel,” the source added.

 

It will be recalled that on August 24, 2021, a Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, issued an order of interim injunction restraining Mr Uche Secondus from  parading himself as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) pending the hearing of an application filed against him.

 

Justice O. Gbasam issued the order following an ex-parte application by Ibeawuchi Alex, Dennis Amadi, Emmanuel Stephen, and Umezerike Onucha, as plaintiffs. But a Kebbi State High Court sitting in Birnin-Kebbi on August 26 restored Secondus as National Chairman of the PDP.

 

The Kebbi High Court order was sequel to a suit by four members of the PDP in the state, namely Yahaya Usman, Abubakar Muhammad, and Bashar Suleman, who filed the ex parte application dated August 25, 2021.

 

They had also sought a stay of execution of the suspension order issued by the Rivers State High Court. Justice Nusirat Umar granted leave to Secondus to return to office as National Chairman of the PDP “pending the hearing and determination of the applicant’s motion on notice.”

 

But on August 27, a Cross River State High Court sitting in Calabar restrained Secondus from resuming office. Justice Edem Kooffreh made the order while ruling on a motion ex-parte by Enang Wani. The court also barred Secondus from presiding over any meeting of the party until the motion was heard.

 

 

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