A case filed by a group of lawyers seeking an order of the court to compel the National Judicial Council (NJC) to reinstate suspended president of the appeal court Justice Ayo Salami has suffered defeat at the Federal High Court Abuja.
11 human rights activists had approached the court asking it to order the reinstatement of Justice Salami, who was suspended in August 2011.
The plaintiffs are Mr. Jitobo Akanike, Idris Musa, Allens Agbaka, Ibrahim Bawa, Princewill Akpakpan, Obruche Ayeteni, Nosa Ihaza, Timothy Odumosu, Stewart Salomi, Egogo Lawrence and Maxwell Adeniran.
They sued for themselves and on behalf of the Registered Trustees of Centre for the Promotion of Arbitration.
The presiding judge, Justice Adamu Bello could not deliver the judgment last Monday due to the strike embarked by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).
The defendants are President Goodluck Jonathan, the Attorney General of the Federation and Justice Minister, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), the National Judicial Council (NJC) and Justice Salami.
The legal practitioners sought an order of the court to compel the NJC to implement the recommendation of its three man-committee headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mariam Aloma-Muktar that the suspended president of the Appeal Court, Justice Ayo Salami be reinstated.
The group also asked the court to declare that in line with the provisions of section 153 of the 1999 constitution President Good Luck Jonathan cannot exercise disciplinary powers over court of appeal justices and in particular Justice Ayo Salami.
In his ruling on the preliminary objection, Justice Adamu Bello held that the group has not shown any locus standi since they have not been able to prove to the court how the suspension of Justice Salami is injurious to them.
He further held that based on the lack of locus, the court also lack jurisdiction to hear the suit.
Counsel to the plaintiffs, however, said the group will study the judgment before deciding on the next cause of action.