Court turns down suit for Nyako’s reinstatement

FILE PHOTO: Murtatala Nyako, impeached governor of Adamawa state

A move to secure the reinstatement of the former Governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, crumbled on Friday with a Lagos High Court dismissing a suit that sought to return him to office.

The court also awarded a N70, 000, cost against the application and Lagos-based lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje.

Mr. Ogungbeje had on August 8, filled a suit seeking to declare the removal of Mr. Nyako by the Adamawa State House of Assembly as unlawful, unconstitutional and null and void.

In the suit No: FHC/L/1180/14, the applicant, who claimed to have filled the case in the interest of the public, said the Adamawa State lawmakers did not follow the due process in removing the embattled former governor.

But in his ruling, Justice Okon Abang insisted that the applicant, Mr. Ogungbeje, lacked the locus standi to institute the case, noting that the application failed to qualify as public interest suit.

Mr. Abang, however, described the applicant as a “meddlesome interloper,” saying that only Nyako had the right to challenge his own impeachment.

The judge held that Mr. Ogungbeje should have allowed the former governor to carry his own cross, rather than be “crying more than the bereaved.”

“It is my considered reasoning that this suit is not a public interest litigation as alleged by the applicant. It is not an action instituted in the interest of the public,” Justice Abang said.

“It is Nyako that will benefit from any favourable judgment, and not the public, and so this matter does not rank among public interest litigation.

“The applicant cannot cry more than the bereaved and he has no justifiable reason to file this suit because as at the time he filed it, it was not established before this court that Nyako was in detention or incapacitated.

“The applicant can also not depose to an affidavit in support of this application on behalf of Nyako who is alive. The facts deposed to by the applicant amount to documentary hearsay.”

The judge also nullified the service of the applicant’s processes on the respondents through the Adamawa State Government liaison office in Lagos on August 15, 2014, on the grounds that the recipient was unknown.

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