ABUJA â€” President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, challenged the jurisdiction of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court to entertain a suit seeking to reverse the suspension of governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
In a preliminary objection filed against the suit, Jonathan insisted that the ousted CBN governor ought to have taken his case to the National Industrial Court, NIC, contending that in line with section 254 (c) (1a) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, only the industrial court had the statutory powers to meddle into any dispute between an employer and his employee.
Similarly, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN, and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, who were both joined in the suit by Sanusi as 2nd and 3rd defendants, respectively, urged the high court to strike it out for want of jurisdiction.
Earlier, Sanusi had through his lawyer, Dr. Kola Awodehin, SAN, maintained that there was never a time employer/employee relationship existed between him and President Jonathan, adding that he was never an employee of the Federal Government.
Besides, Awodehin, SAN, urged the court to consolidate and hear together both his clientâ€™s originating summons and the three preliminary objections against the suit, a request that was vehemently opposed by all the defendants.
Though President Jonathan through his lawyer, Dr. Fabian Ajodu, SAN, expressed his intention to file an affidavit to reply Sanusiâ€™s contention that he was never an employee of the federal government, he urged the court to hear and determine the issue of jurisdiction first.
In his submission, counsel to the AGF, Chief Mike Ozhokome, SAN, told the court that there was need to also counter Sanusiâ€™s claim that he was still in charge of the CBN, considering that he had not handed over to Mrs. Sarah Alade who, he said, was illegally appointed as the acting CBN governor by Jonathan.
â€œMy Lord, all the defendants have filed their notices of preliminary objection, challenging the jurisdiction of this court to hear this matter; it is our humble application that the objection be taken together with the main suit,â€ Awodehin said.