June 3 has been scheduled by the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja today, to commence hearing of the suit challenging the appointment of Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).
The trial judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, fixed the date after striking out an exparte application seeking to serve the Acting CJN with court processes in the matter after been withdrawn by the applicant and the plaintiff, Chief Malcolm Emokiniovo Omirhobo.
The Acting CJN was represented in court by a counsel, K. O Ajana, and was served with processes in the matter in court.
It would be recalled that the Board of Incorporated Trustees of Malcolm Omirhobo Foundation had, in an exparte motion filed on April 15, asked the court to stop Justice Muhammad’s appointment as CJN pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed by the foundation.
The plaintiff also asked for an order of interim injunction restraining the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (7th defendant) from confirming the appointment of Justice Muhammad as CJN pending the determination of the substantive suit challenging his appointment.
After reading the affidavit in support of the exparte motion sworn to by Chief Malcolm Emokiniovo Omirhobo, Justice Ekwo then ordered that the National Judicial Council (NJC), Federal Judicial Service Commission, Justice Muhammad, Federal Government, President Muhammadu Buhari, Attorney General of the Federation and the Senate, who are defendants in the motion to be put on notice.
He gave the defendants seven days, upon being served with notice on the matter, to appear and show cause why the application of the plaintiff should not be granted.
Justice Ekwo then adjourned till today for the defendants to appear in court to show cause.
The plaintiff specifically wants the court to stop the appointment of Justice Muhammad as the substantive CJN on the ground that there was violation of the constitution and the code of conduct for judicial officers in the appointment of the Acting CJN.