An anti-corruption coalition, the Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), has urged the National Judicial Council (NJC) to investigate Justice M. N. Yunusa of the Federal High Court, Lagos division, for abuse of powers.
In the petition made available to journalists and signed by the coalition’s chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, the CSNAC lamented the continuous, questionable manner by which the judge granted orders of perpetual injunction to political exposed persons and other accused persons from being arrested or prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
According to the coalition, the NJC should investigate the various arbitrary injunctions granted by Justice Yunusa, adding that the rulings of the High Court judge were suspicions since the Supreme Court has held in a plethora of cases that the granting of perpetual injunctions against law enforcement agencies is a violation of constitutional provisions.
Citing a plethora of cases where Justice Yunusa granted the petitioners perpetual injunctions preventing the EFCC from doing his statutory duties, the coalition said the order from the judge will undoubtedly serve as a leeway for unscrupulous and corrupt individuals to escape justice.
Notable among the cases cited by the CSNAC in its petition is Senator Stella Odua v. AG Federation, EFCC, ICPC and IGP with suit no. FHC/L/CS/1342/15; Dr. Martins Oluwafemi Thomas v. EFCC in suit no. FHC/L/CS/1445/15, among others.
The petition read, “The grant of the orders of mandatory and perpetual injunctions by Justice Yunusa against the EFCC is a grave departure from the established principles in the aforementioned cases, as laid down by the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal which are binding on the Federal High Court, being a lower court.
“Honourable Justice Yunusa, by the granting of these orders, has stripped the Economic and Financial Crimes Commissions of its constitutional powers as a law enforcement agency, as well its powers under the enabling law, the Economic and Financial Crimes (Establishment) Act, LFN 2004, a Federal Legislation. It is also a gross abuse of his powers as a judicial officer.
“These decisions, based on his Lordship’s refusal to abide by judicial precedents laid down by the apex court, will undoubtedly serve as a leeway for unscrupulous and corrupt individuals, who will stop at nothing to truncate their arrest, investigation and prosecution by the appropriate law enforcement agencies, to render our criminal law ineffective, as well as allowing corruption fester in the society.”
In the light of the above, “CSNAC therefore by this petition is requesting that the council carries out its constitutional role by immediately summoning Honorable Justice M. N. Yunusa on this matter and thereby ensuring that sanity is restored in the exercise of powers by judicial officers.”