Ex-Army General appeals dismissal of N8bn suit against Lagos govt, others

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By Taiye Agbaje
Abuja, Nov. 10, 2020 Retired Maj.-Gen. AbdulRauf Tijani has appealed the judgment of a Federal High Court, Abuja, which dismissed his suit against Lagos Government over alleged unlawful seizure of his expanse of land in the state.
Justice Inyang Ekwo had, on Oct. 14 in a judgment, dismissed the N8 billion damages suit on the grounds that the suit constituted a gross abuse of court process, besides being defective in nature and contents.
Naija247news reports that respondents in the suit are the Lagos Government, National Judicial Council (NJC) and Justice Ayokunle Faji of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court.
Others include the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA); former Lagos Attorney-General, Abdulraheem Ipaye SAN, Mr Kasheem Adeniji and Governor of Lagos.
Tijjani, in the notice of appeal filed on Oct. 26, prayed the appellate court to set aside the judgment of the trial court which dismissed his suit against the respondents.
In the notice of appeal predicated on two grounds, the former army chief also asked the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division to grant him all the declarative reliefs he sought from the trial court but which were not granted.
The appellant faulted the judgment of the Federal High Court on the grounds that it was discriminatory against him based on alleged legal technicalities.
In the ground of appeal, the appellant averred that the trial judge erred in law when he glossed over the alleged stealing of case file against a serving judge of the Federal High Court in Lagos.
General Tijjani had sued the respondents over alleged injustice perpetrated against him by officials of Lagos and the serving judge of the Federal High Court.
The plaintiff specifically challenged the alleged sabotage of the execution of a court judgment which returned his landed property in Lagos to him.
In arguing his case, the retired army general urged the court to intervene in the matter because a judgment entered in his favour was criminally sabotaged allegedly by the Lagos authorities in connivance with the Federal High Court judge.
General Tijjani, although not a lawyer, argued his case himself and prayed the court to look into the justice of his case.
He added that what was before the court was criminal in nature and not ordinary misconduct of a judge.
He alleged that after a Federal High Court in Lagos entered judgment in his favour in his suit challenging the unlawful seizure of his property by the Lagos authority, the judge in connivance with the then Lagos Attorney General took the case file to a Lagos State High Court which he accused of now sitting as an Appeal Court over the Federal High Court’s judgment.
In the suit with number FHC/ABJ/CS/690/2020, the plaintiff however prayed the judge to compel the National Judicial Council (NJC) to pay him another sum of N100 million for alleged misconduct of Justice A. O. Faji during the hearing of his matter.
In addition, he asked the court for an order for the trial of Justice Faji for allegedly perverting the course of justice in his case.
Besides, Tijjani prayed the court to compel the Chief Justice of Nigeria to remove the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) on Mr Kasheem Adeniji and further de-bar him for alleged act of misconduct.
But delivering judgment in the suit, Justice Ekwo held that the suit was incompetent and consequently dismissed it.
Although hearing in the plaintiff’s application for the transmission of the Federal High Court’s record to the appellate court was scheduled for today, Monday, it was later adjourned until Nov. 25.

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