The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) has been ordered to set aside the appointment of new Ogun State Judicial Service Commission (OSJSC) members by Governor Dapo Abiodun.
The applicattion was made by Abayomi Omoyinmi, a former commission member.
In February 2012, by letter from former Governor Ibikunle Amosun, the applicant was named a member of the Commission for a five-year term “as stipulated in the Constitution,” and the same was renewed by a letter dated 30 January 2018 pursuant to Section 199(1)(C) of the same Act and to the end of January 2023.
Gov Abiodun allegedly dissolved the commission after his inauguration, however.
Accordingly, in a Notice Motion submitted pursuant to Order 22 of the NICN Civil Procedure Rules in Suit no: NICN / AB/09/2019, Omoyinmi prayed to the court for two orders:’ An order setting aside the appointments, constitution and inauguration of the new members by the Governor and the State House of Assembly, and the second and fourth respondents respectively, in Suit no NICN / AB/09/2019, during the course of the proceedings.
“An order of Interlocutory Injunction restraining Ogun State Government and Governor Abiodun appointees inaugurated on November 4 as members of OSJSC from performing the functions and duties of the Commission pending the hearing and determination of the Originating Summons and Motion for Interlocutory Injunction”.
The Government of Ogun State and the Attorney General of the State of Ogun and the Commissioner of Justice are respectively first and third respondents.
In his affidavit in support of the motion, the claimant stated that he was aware that the defendants had not filed any counter-affidavit despite serving the Originating Summons and requesting interlocutory injunction.
According to Omoyinmi, on October 31 he heard through the media that the second defendant, Gov Dapo Abiodun, was announcing the appointment of new members to the Commission despite the pending suit.
He argued that the second respondent hurriedly submitted names of new appointees to the fourth defendant for screening and confirmation, while serving requests before the court.
He said, “While the Originating Summons was to be heard on Tuesday, November 5, the second defendant hurriedly inaugurated the new appointees on Monday, November 4.” He clarified that the OSJSC is a legislative commission set up by the 1999 Constitution as amended, and that the term of members is as defined by the same Constitution.
He claimed that “the defendants claimed to have dissolved all statutory and non-statutory boards and commissions in a manner shrouded in secrecy.” Omoyinmi further stated that the fourth defendant premised its resolution on the alleged claims that members of boards and statutory commissions received severance allowances from Ibikunle Amosun’s former government without verifying the truthful.