Law News
Adamawa: Fintiri drags Justice Ademola to NJC, alleges foul play

Former Acting Governor of Adamawa State, Umaru Fintiri, has asked the National Judicial Council, NJC, to investigate Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court in Abuja, over his alleged refusal to furnish his lawyers with a copy of the judgment that sacked him from office.

In two separate petitions sent through the law firm of a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Bayo Ojo, SAN, he accused the high court judge of deliberately frustrating his appeal against the verdict that not only ousted him, but equally stopped the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from conducting a governorship bye-election in the state on October 11.

Adamu Fintir

The two petitions endorsed by another Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Duro Adeyele, SAN, were dated October 10 and 14, respectively.

Specifically, Fintri, who had since resumed his former position as the Speaker of the Adamawa State House of Assembly, told the NJC that though Justice Adeniyi refused to grant him a copy of the judgment, he alleged that the judge ensured that an enrolled order of the verdict was served on INEC headquarters few hours after it was delivered on October 8.

According to him, “To begin with, though Tuesday 7th October was a public holiday, I got a phone call at about 6:19 pm from someone who claimed to be the secretary to the presiding judge of Federal High Court No 6, Abuja intimating me that judgment in the above quoted suit would be delivered the next day Wednesday 8th October.

“I was not in Abuja and I therefore instructed one of my junior colleagues in chambers to go for the judgment. I also emphasized that he should obtain a certified true copy of the judgment as my expectation was that His Lordship would make a copy of the judgment available to parties knowing the constitutional and political nature of the case. However, no copy of the judgment was made available”.

“On getting back to Abuja on the same Wednesday 8th October, I instructed one of my junior colleagues in chambers to apply for a certified true copy of the said judgment to concretize the notice of appeal which I had instruction of my client to file. However, up till close of business of that day, the judgment was not made available. Nevertheless, I still went ahead to file a notice of appeal based on what my junior heard in court.

“My Lord, to my shock and surprise, up till the close of business the next day Thursday and Friday, Ademola J. refused to release the said judgment and there is no indication from the court when it will be ready and made available to me. One would expect that in a matter such as this, his Lordship should have gotten the judgment ready before delivering same.

“What now compounded the situation is that even though I was not availed a copy of the judgment, an enrolled order of the judgment was served on INEC headquarters Abuja by 11:28 am on the date of judgment, 8th October, and by 2pm of the same day, a copy of the said enrolled order was taken to the Chief of Staff of my client at the government house, Jimeta, Yola, Adamawa State.”

Likewise, Fintri, in his follow-up petition, told the NJC that on October 13, “We again sent one of our colleagues in chambers to the said court to obtain a certified true copy of the judgement. However and to our chagrin and consternation, the Court Registrar again informed our colleague that the judgment was not ready for certification as it was still being typed.”

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