Law News
Appeal court hears case over Agumagu’s suspension today
Justice Peter Agumagu

Justice Peter Agumagu

The Court of Appeal in Abuja will on Monday (today) hear an appeal which arose from the suit filed by President of the Rivers State Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Peter Agumagu, challenging his suspension from the bench by the National Judicial Council.

The NJC had suspended Agumagu on March 26, 2014, for allowing himself to be sworn into office as Rivers State Chief Judge by Governor Rotimi Amaechi on June 18 without being recommended by the council as required by the Constitution.

On June 30, Justice Adeniyi Ademola of a Federal High Court in Abuja had adjourned the matter indefinitely to await the outcome of an interlocutory appeal.

The appeal was filed before the Court of Appeal in Abuja challenging Justice Ademola’s ruling in which he elected to hear both the substantive suit and preliminary objections filed in the suit together.

The NJC, Justices Babatunde Adejumo, Jubril Idris and Comwell Idahosa (Chairman and members of the panel set up by the NJC to investigate allegations against the applicant (Justice Agumagu) are the respondents in the suit.

Agumagu’s lawyer, Akin Olujinmi (SAN), had at the June 30 proceedings before the Federal High Court, reminded the court that the case was fixed for hearing of all pending applications.

But he said his client had also filed an application on June 12 seeking an order to join three new parties in the suit.

He added that two of the respondents had also applied for stay of proceedings pending the appeal they filed against an earlier ruling of the court.

Olujimi had urged the court to adjourn the case in view of the fact that the respondents had compiled records of appeal and had even filed briefs of argument.

NJC’s lawyer, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), and other respondents’ counsel, Fola Shotikare (for Justice Adejumo) and Emmanuel Ukala (SAN) for Justices Idris and Idahosa, did not object to Olujinmi’s request for indefinite adjournment.

Agumagu filed his suit tagged, FHC/ABJ/CS/253/2014, on March 18, 2014, challenging his suspension by the NJC on March 18.

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