The Abuja division of the National Industrial Court has refused to grant stay of proceeding order in a suit filed by the former acting director-general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Mohammed Dauda, challenging his purported dismissal from office by the agency.
In an originating summons filed through his counsel, Kanu Agabi (SAN), and marked NICN/ABJ/136/2018, Dauda joined the current director-general, NIA and the NIA as first and second defendants respectively.
Dauda is praying the court to determine whether the procedure adopted by the defendants in the process leading to his purported dismissal is in compliance with Article 8(1) and (2) of the National Securities Agency Act (CAPS 278) 1986.
He also asked the court to determine whether the purported letter dismissing him issued by the defendants on March 6, 2018 is not unlawful, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.
The claimant also submitted that if the answer to his questions are in the positive, then the court should know the procedure adopted by the defendants in the process leading to his dismissal falls short of the provisions of Articles 8(1) and (2) of the National Securities Agency Act (Cap 278 LFN) 1986 and is null and void.
The defendants had challenged the jurisdiction of the court over the matter and the competence of the suit.
But in his October 12 ruling, the Presiding judge, Hon Justice Olufunke Anuwe, did not make any pronouncement on the substantive suit on the ground that the suit was still awaiting the determination of the court.
However, she held that the suit be converted to one originated by a complaint, saying that parties in the suit should file pleadings with necessary accompany processes within 14 days.
At the resumed hearing of the suit on Thursday, December 6, the counsel to the defendant, Barrister Henry Chichi moved a motion for stay of proceeding in the suit.
But the counsel to the claimant, Barrister Peter Eriwode from Kanu Agabi’s chambers, argued that the court no longer has jurisdiction to entertain the stay of the proceeding motion brought before it by the defendant because an appeal has been entered at the Court of Appeal in Abuja in the matter.
In his ruling, Justice Anuwe upheld the claimant’s argument and adjourned the case pending the outcome of the court of appeal.