Retirement: FG asks court to strike out Olotu’s suit

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The Federal Government on Wednesday asked a Federal High Court, Abuja, to strike out a suit filed by Justice Gladys Olotu, whose compulsory retirement was approved by President Goodluck Jonathan recently.

The government in a preliminary objection filed by its counsel, Mr Taiwo Abidogun, from the Attorney-General of the Federation’s office, said the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

Abidogun argued that sections 251 and 254 of the 1999 Constitution exclusively confered jurisdiction on matters pertaining to the employment and retirement of the plaintiff on the National Industrial Court (NIC).

“My Lord, the substantive matter relates to and is connected with the employment of the applicant/plaintiff, who is an erstwhile employee of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“Section 254 sub-section `C’ clearly vests jurisdiction on employment matters on the National Industrial Court.

“The Federal High Court has no jurisdiction over employment matters by virtue of sections 251 and 254 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

“We humbly urge your Lordship to strike out this matter for want of jurisdiction in order to save the time of this honourable court and the parties,’’ Abidogun said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Olotu has sued the government following her recommendation for compulsory retirement by the National Judicial Council (NJC).

The NJC, had on Feb. 27, recommended Olotu’s compulsory retirement to the president due to “findings on the allegations of gross misconduct contained in the petitions written against her’’.

Olotu, in a motion ex-parte filed before Justice Ademola Adeniyi, sought leave of the court to apply for an order of certiorari for judicial review of her case.

Mr Sunday Ameh (SAN), her counsel, who filed the application on her behalf, said that the suit was intended at protecting his client’s fundamental rights.

Joined in the suit as respondents are President Goodluck Jonathan, the NJC, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court and the Attorney-General of the Federation.

Justice Ademola adjourned the case to April 28 for hearing because NJC’s counsel, Mr Jimoh Lasisi (SAN), said he was  served with the court processes only 24 hours ago.

He had, therefore, asked for an adjournment to enable him to prepare to respond accordingly