The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, dismissed a suit seeking an order restraining Mr Mohammed Adamu from parading himself as the Inspector-General (I-G) of Police.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed gave the ruling following a motion exparte with suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/106/21 filed by Maxwell Opara, a legal practitioner, and argued by his lawyer, Ugochukwu Ezekiel.
Opara had sued President Mohammadu Buhari, Mr Mohammed Adamu, the Attorney General of the Federation and the Ministry of Justice as 1st to 4th defendants respectively.
Opara, in the motion dated Feb. 10 and filed Feb. 11, had prayed the court for an order of interim injunction, restraining Adamu from parading himself as I-G pending the determination of the matter and for an abridgement of time within which the defendants should respond to the application.
Although the I-G was represented by Alex Izinyon, SAN, the 1st, 3rd and 4th defendants were not represented in court. When the case was mentioned, the applicant’s lawyer, Ezekiel, told the court that the 1st, 3rd and 4th defendants were duly served with the originating processes and the hearing notices for the day’s sitting.
“They were equally aware of today’s sitting because they were served with hearing notice,” he said.He informed the court that he had a motion exparte dated Feb. 10 and filed Feb. 11.
The lawyer said the motion sought for an order to restrain Adamu from further parading himself as IGP and for the court to abridge the time within which the defendants would file their processes.Izinyon, who appeared for Adamu, said he was in court in protest because defendants had 30 days within which to file their responses in respect to the main suit.
According to him, we received the hearing notice two days ago.He urged the court not to grant his request to move the motion.But Ezekiel argued that since the motion he planned to move was an exparte, counsel to the defence was not supposed to respond.He cited Order 26, Rule 6 of the court to back his argument.
“Order 26, Rules 6 and 7 of this court allows the plaintiff to bring an exparte motion to court at the back of the other party.
“A motion exparte is an application filed by a party who wishes to get some reliefs at the back of the other party in the interim,” he said.
Justice, who agreed with the order cited by Ezekiel, ordered that the motion be moved.Moving the motion, the lawyer told the court that the application was brought pursuant to Sections 215 and 216 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), Section 7 of the Nigeria Police Act 2020 and provision of the court. He urged the court to grant the reliefs sought in the interest of national security.
Ruling, Justice Mohammed held that since all the defendants had already been served with the originating processes in the suit, it would be unfair to grant the exparte motion when the defence had within 30 days to respond to the main suit.
The judge said such order would be contrary to the provision of the law.“Prayer one for an order of interim injunction is hereby refuse,d,” he ruled.
Mohammed, who said the second prayer shall be a notice to the defendants, adjourned the matter until Feb. 24.He ordered that 1st, 3rd and 4th defendants be served with hearing notices.