An ex parte application for an order stopping President Muhammadu Buhari from swearing in Justice Tanko Muhammad as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, has been turned down by Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The Acting CJN, has been operating in an acting capacity since January when former CJN Walter Onnoghen was suspended by President Buhari.
However, Onnoghen has since resigned after his conviction by the Danladi Umar-led Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, and Muhammad is expected to resume the position substantively.
A suit filed by Malcom Omirhobo Foundation, a group being promoted and represented in court by a lawyer, Mr. Malcom Omirhobo, is challenging the Acting CJN’s fitness to occupy the exalted office.
The judge directed the applicant to put all the seven defendants on notice, rather than grant the application in his ruling,
The judge insisted that the prayers sought by the applicant in its ex parte application could not be granted in the defendants’ absence.
Justice Ekwo, having listened to the plaintiff’s lawyer, ruled that, “It is hereby ordered as follows:
“That none of the prayers made on this motion ex parte can be granted in the absence of the defendants.
“The plaintiff is hereby ordered to put the defendants on notice.
“The defendants are hereby granted seven days upon being served to appear and show cause why the application of the plaintiff ought not to be granted
“Case adjourned till May 13, 2019, for the defendants to show cause.”