Nigeria’s Federal High Court has given the green light to two separate suits seeking to sack the newly appointed chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Olanipekun Olukoyede.
The suits were brought before the court by legal practitioners, Mr. Stanley Okawara and Mr. Maxwell Opara.
The first suit, marked: FHC/KN/CS/280/202, was lodged before the Division of the court in Kano State.
The second suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1410/2023, is pending before the Abuja Division.
Justice Abdullahi Liman of the Kano court has fixed October 30 to hear a motion on notice seeking to restrain the EFCC chairman, whose appointment was confirmed by the Senate on October 12, from exercising the powers and functions of the office or drawing salaries and emoluments as an occupant of the office, pending the hearing and determination of the suit.
Though the plaintiff had through his lawyer, Mr. Jideobi Johnmary, filed an ex-parte application for the court to issue an order of interim injunction against Olukoyede, Justice Liman, however, ordered him to go and put all the defendants on notice.
Cited as defendants in the matter are President Bola Tinubu, the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio and the EFCC.
The court directed the plaintiff to join both the EFCC chairman, Olukoyede and Secretary of the Commission, Muhammad Hammajoda, as 4th and 5th defendants in the matter, respectively.
Justice Liman further granted permission to the plaintiff to serve a copy of the court process on President Tinubu, by serving the same on the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi, SAN.
Besides, the court okayed substituted service of the suit on the Senate President, through the clerk of the Senate.
It equally abridged the time within which all the defendants should enter appearance and file their respective processes to 15 days.
Upon determination of the legal questions, the plaintiff wants an order of the court “restraining anyone (appointed by the 1st Defendant) who is not a serving or retired member of any government security or law enforcement agency not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police or equivalent (with 15 years cognate experience) from assuming duties or performing the functions or exercising the powers of the chairman of the 3rd Defendant.