The President maintained that the high court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain a suit filed by a Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Olukoya Ogungbeje, with a view to stopping the Federal Government from arraigning the seven judges arrested after a “sting operation” carried out by the officers of the Department of State Services (DSS) between October 7 and 8.
Challenging the competence of the suit, President Buhari, through a preliminary objection filed by his lawyer, Chiesonu Okpoko, argued that the plaintiff did not disclose his locus standi to initiate and maintain the suit.
He insisted that there was no case between the plaintiff and the respondents.
According to him, “the applicant’s suit as constituted and conceived was nothing more than a mere academic exercise and which raises hypothetical issues.”
The president also argued that before the plaintiff could invoke the judicial powers of the court as enshrined in section 6(6) (b) of the 1999 constitution, he must show how his civil rights and obligations were affected or would be affected by the act complained of.
Although seven judges were arrested, the plaintiff said he instituted the action on behalf of five of them who were still serving as at the time the action was commenced.
The judges include Justices Inyang Okoro and Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court, Adeniyi Ademola and Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja, as well as Justice Muazu Pindiga of the Federal High Court, Gombe Division.