Justice Taiwo Taiwo of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has been asked to set aside the oath of office administered on 11 persons shortlisted as Judges of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory on September 14, 2020 by the Chief Justice of Nigeria. The plaintiff in the matter Registered Trustees Of Social Justice And Civil Rights Awareness Initiative with suit NO: FHC/ABJ/CS/830/2020, prayed the court to nullify the oath of office taken by the judges on the ground that the matter is pending before a lawful court before they took oath of office.
In the suit filed through their lawyer, Alozie Nmerengwa Esq, the plaintiff said the Chief Justice of Nigeria, being the head of courts in Nigeria went ahead to swear in the eleven persons shortlisted for appointment as Judges of the High Court of FCT while being aware of the pendency of the suit.
He argued that a court frowns at acts clearly done to foist a state of helplessness on the court and is empowered to remedy such acts by setting same aside. Before the judges were sworn in, the plaintiff also wrote a letter to the CJN dated September 11, intimating him on the need to maintain status quo. In the letter, Nmerengwa said, ‘’We act as Legal Practitioner to the plaintiff in the above mentioned suit on whose behalf we write.
It has come to our notice that the swearing-in of the persons appointed to act as judges for the High Court of the FCT has been scheduled to hold on Monday 14 September, 2020. ‘’We wish to bring to your Lordship’s notice that the said appointment is the subject matter in the suit listed above and in the best spirits of our legal jurisprudence, particularly, the doctrine of lis pendens.