The Akure Division of the Court of Appeal will on September 23, 2015 give judgment on the notice filed by a former deputy governor of Ondo State, Alhaji Ali Olanusi, who was impeached on April 27, 2015.
Olanusi wants the appellate court to upturn the decision of a Federal High Court in Lagos which refused his prayer for reinstatement.
The fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by Olanusi for his reinstatement was on August 13, 2015 struck out by Justice Mohammed Idris, who described it as an abuse of court processes.
Idris had noted that the reliefs that Olanusi was seeking in that suit were same as those in an earlier suit marked Ak/51/2015, which was then pending before an Ondo State High Court in Akure.
“The issues of the fundamental rights of the applicant were raised in that suit as in this suit. This cannot be allowed.
“The institution of the first action between the main parties or even similar parties on same subject matter simultaneously when the previous suit has not been disposed off constitutes an abuse of court processes.
“I therefore hold that this suit is filed in abuse of court processes in the light of suit numbered AK/51/2015,” Idris held.
The judge also held that he had no jurisdiction to entertain the suit and went on to fault the joining of the Inspector General of Police as a defendant, who, he said, played no role in Olanusi’s impeachment.
Idris upheld the submission of the Attorney General of Ondo State, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), who said Olanusi joined the Inspector General of Police as a subterfuge to confer a jurisdiction, which the court did not have, on it.
But Olanusi, through his lawyer. Olukoya Ogungbeje, had described Idris’ judgment as “perverse, unsupportable and lacking grounds of law in fundamental rights application.”
Ogungbeje contended that Idris erred in law when he declined jurisdiction and faulted the joining of the Inspector General of Police.
According to him, being a fundamental rights enforcement action, the Inspector General of Police was a necessary party.
Olanusi had sued the IG and the chairman of the seven-man investigative panel which found him guilty of impeachable offences, Mr. Olatunji Adeniyan.
His lawyer, Ogungbeje, claimed that “the sitting, conclusion of proceedings and submission of report by the panel within one day” denied Olanusi his right to fair hearing as enshrined in Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution.
Olanusi claimed that the impeachment panel did not give him adequate time and facility to defend himself against the allegations of misconduct which he was found guilty of.
He also alleged that the Adeniyan-led panel failed to personally serve him with the notice of the allegation of misconduct before proceeding into hearing and reaching its verdict.
He therefore sought an order quashing the proceedings and the report of the Adeniyan-led seven-man impeachment panel which recommended him for impeachment.
He also sought an order nullifying his removal as the Ondo State Deputy Governor by the state House of Assembly on April 27, 2015.
But Adeniyan, through the Attorney General of Ondo State, Jegede, who described Olanusi’s suit as an abuse of court processes, said the ex-deputy governor goofed by approaching the court through a fundamental right enforcement application to challenge his impeachment.