Nigeria News

Suspension: Industrial Court Strikes Out Sanusi’s Suit

The National Industrial Court (NIC) has struck out the suit filed by the Emir of Kano, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi challenging his suspension as the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) by President Goodluck Jonathan.

At the resumed hearing of the matter yesterday, Sanusi's lead counsel, Kola Awodein (SAN), informed the court thus: "We have filed a notice of discontinuance of this suit and we have served same on the respondents."

Sanusi’s action is seen as part of moves aimed at settling differences with President Goodluck as exclusively reported by THISDAY yesterday.

Mathew Edum who appeared for President Jonathan did not object the application to discontinue the suit.

Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) counsel to the 2nd defendant (the Attorney General of the Federation) also did not oppose the plaintiff's application for withdrawal of the suit.

He however asked for adjournment to enable him consult with his client on his pending motion on notice for stay of execution of the federal high court judgment.
Ozekhome also told the court that he had a pending appeal at the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division distinct from the plaintiff's appeal in same court that arose from the suit.

He further explained that before the court session commenced, he had consulted with the plaintiff counsel and informed them that he had no objection.

Ozekhome however informed the court that "after the last hearing date (June 13, 2014) when the plaintiff counsel asked for an adjournment to enable him consult with his client on the matter, they took further steps to pursue their appeal by serving the notice for compilation of records for the appeal.”

Responding, Awodein said that the only process they filed was the discontinuance notice.
He said that the compilation notice was issued by the court registrar.
Ruling on the application, Justice Babatunde Adejumo who is also the President of the court said: "since the discontinuance application has been filed in accordance with Order 19, Rule 17 of the National Industrial Cour Rules, this action is hereby struck out."

The suit was filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja but was transferred to the NIC by virtue of Justice Kolawole's judgment of May 20 this year.

The judge had held that his court was without jurisdiction to hear the case, which bordered on employment and labour issues.

However, both Sanusi and the AGF appealed Justice Kolawole's decision to transfer the case.

The plaintiff, in his appeal, faulted the judge's decision to transfer the case, arguing that his case was not labour and employment related.

The AGF also contended in his appeal that the judge ought to have dismissed the case when he came to the conclusion that he lacked jurisdiction.

When the case first came up before the NIC on June 13, plaintiff's lawyer, Kola Awodein (SAN) sought time to enable him consult with his client on what further steps to be taken, a request that prompted the court to adjourn to yesterday.
In the suit, Sanusi had said that the President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan had no power to suspend him as CNB governor.

However, the matter which the suit sought to deal remain hanging and not completely resolved as the National Industrial Court adjourned till November 7, 2014 for the hearing of motion on notice for stay of execution of the judgment delivered by Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the federal high court.

Also, as part of Sanusi’s fence-mending measures, THISDAY gathered that he may pay a courtesy call to the president soon, following the overtures he had made to him personally and through intermediaries since his appointment as the emir, seeking Jonathan’s forgiveness for his public utterances.

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