A suit filed by a former governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, to challenge his impeachment from office in July 2014 made a return from the Bauchi Division of the Federal High Court to the Chief Judge of the FHC, Justice Ibrahim Auta, on Thursday.
Nyako, through the suit which was originally filed in the Yola Division of the Federal High Court, seeks an order returning him to office before his second term tenure would expire on May 29.
Justice Auta had withdrawn the case from Justice Bilikisu Aliyu of the Yola Division of the Federal High Court where the matter was originally filed, and transferred it to the Bauchi Division of the court.
The Chief Judge who held the case file for about three weeks before transferring it to Bauchi in March, had withdrawn the case from Yola on account of a petition regarding the case.
Justice Aliyu had conducted hearing in the case and fixed February 13, 2015 to deliver judgment when Justice Auta called for the file on the basis of the petition written by the Chief Judge of Adamawa State, Justice Ishaya Banu.
Justice Banu’s petition emanated from an earlier decision of Justice Aliyu to dismiss his (Justice Banu’s) application to join Nyako’s suit as a party.
Nyako had through his lawyer, Mr. Olukoya Ogungbeje, petitioned the National Judicial Council calling for its intervention in the handling of the case by Justice Auta and the inexplicable interest of Justice Banu in the case.
The Federal High Court’s Chief Judge after holding the case file for about three weeks, re-assigned the case to Justice Umar of the Federal High Court in Bauchi, a development which Nyako was opposed to.
Nyako, through his lawyer, Mr. Olukoya Ogungbeje, later filed an application asking for the transfer of the case to Yola, on the grounds that the Bauchi Division lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit.
However, in his ruling on Thursday, Justice Umar agreed that his court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit, but refused to transfer the case to Yola as prayed by Nyako.
Instead the judge returned the case file to the Chief Judge.
Meanwhile, a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, Abuja, has fixed Friday for judgment in an application by Nyako, challenging the alleged wrongful transfer of his suit to Bauchi Division.
The plaintiff is seeking an order of mandamus compelling Justice Auta to return the case file to Justice Bilikisu Aliyu of the Yola Division of the Federal High Court, so that the reserved judgment of the court can be delivered.
Justice Auta did not file any defence in the suit.
Nyako is with the fundamental rights enforcement suit, which he is seeking its transfer to Yola Division of the Federal High Court, is challenging his removal from office in July 2014.
He alleged that he was denied fair hearing by the impeachment panel which recommended his removal from office to the state House of Assembly in July 2014.