By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja
The suit seeking removal of the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu from office, suffered a setback, yesterday, due to irregular service of originating processes on the Nigerian Police Council.
A legal practitioner, Maxwell Okpara, filed the suit following the decision of President Muhammad Buhari to extend the tenure of Adamu as Inspector-General of Police by three months after his retirement on Feb. 1.
By the suit, the plaintiff wants an order of court for Adamu to resign from office, having spent the mandatory 35 years in service.
President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the 1st defendant, IGP Adamu is the 2nd defendant, while the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice is the 3rd defendant and Nigerian Police Commission is the 4th defendant.
When the matter was called up, counsel to the plaintiff, Ugochukwu Ezekiel, informed the court that counsel to the 1st defendant ( President, FRN) and 3rd defendant (AGF) served a counter affidavit on him “this morning”, wherein they raised objection to the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter.
At this juncture, the trial judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed noticed there was no legal representation for the Nigeria Police Council (4th defendant).
From the record of the court, it was noticed that one Adeyemi, whose status was not stated, received the originating processes.
Hence, the court noted that the 4th defendant was not properly served with the processes and the hearing notice, issued on March 8.
When asked by the court, the plaintiff’s counsel said, “My Lord, in my view, having effected service on the 1st defendant, whose office, the 4th defendant is under, I believe the Nigeria Police Council is aware of the matter.
In a ruling, Justice Mohammed held that “There is doubt as to whether the 4th defendant was properly served with the originating processes.
“Service is fundamental and we all know what happens to an entire proceeding once there was no proper service.
“The Court has to be cautious and ensure that the right thing is done, the judge said.
Consequently, the court ordered that originating processes be served on the 4th defendant, who has seven days to reply.
He, therefore, adjourned to March 30, for definite hearing.