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Ex-Imo Milad, wants court to restrain CJN from conferring SAN rank on Enugu Attorney General

Enugu State Governor, Sullivan Chime

Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

A one time Military Administrator (MILAD) of Imo State, Commodore Anthony Oguguo, (rtd) has gone to court to seek for an order stopping the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) justice Maraym Aloma  Mukhtar, from conferring the title of senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) on the  Attorney General of Enugu State, Barrister Anthony Ani.

Ani, is among the candidates to be formerly conferred next week with SAN in Abuja, having been listed in July by the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee.

Joined in the suit no: FHC/EN/CS/151/2013 is the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee.

However, there was a mild drama at the Federal High Court, Enugu on Friday when the matter came up for hearing as the Presiding Judge, Justice Dorathy Agishi announced that she could not find the copy of the originating summons from the file.

The former military Governor, who appeared for himself told the court that he filed the originating summons on Sept 11 and served an advanced copy on the defendants.

He added that the motion on notice dated. Sept 17 was also served on the defendants on the same day. This prompted Justice Agishi to stand the matter down temporarily and asked her Clerk to search for the documents.

The lady Clerk had left the courtroom and returned about twenty minutes later without the original copy of the originating summons.

Oguguo, had released a copy from his file to the court in protest that “somebody is working to ensure that justice is not done in the matter. Otherwise, how come there is a file, a motion on notice but without the original copy of the originating summons”.

Not withstanding the extra copy provided to the court, Justice Agishi had declined to give the order on the ground that the rules of the court must be followed, adding that it was the prerogative of the court to “grant leave for service outside jurisdiction”, which must also be done by a court bail who shall obtain proof of service.

She therefore, adjourned the matter for October 2nd for hearing on the motion.The original copy of the originating summons had resurfaced from the registry after the Judge had adjourned the matter.

Tn the originating summon brought under Order 3 rule 9, Oguguo accused Ani of impudent and unwholesome conduct in office as the attorney general resulting in usurping of justice without recourse for public interest and abuse of legal process.

He stated that Ani,  in his capacity as the Attorney General of Enugu state was required by section 211 (3) of the 1999 constitution, in the due discharge of his duties of instituting and undertaking; taking over and continuing; and discontinuing any criminal proceedings at any stage before judgment, to have regard to the public interest, the interest of justice and the need to prevent abuse of legal process.

The retired military chief, had recalled how some officials of Awgu local government council had in 2010 allegedly invaded his house and attacked natives who gathered for a meeting causing them injuries and dispossessing them of their wares and money, adding that though the Federal High Court had a year ago ruled on the matter in his favour and approved the sum of N2.5 million as damages as well as apology in the national daily, the accused persons had not obeyed the judgment of the court.

He said that even when he had asked Ani to charge the accused persons to court to enable them face the criminal aspect of the invasion, which he did, the suspects never honoured several summons of the Awgu Magistrate Court, explaining that Ani compounded the situation when he wrote the court during its last sitting to discharge the accused persons on the ground that he found them no longer culpable.

“AG cannot after causing charge no MWG/8c/2013 (the state V Anthony Udegbu & 3 others to be brought to court thereby manifesting that in his opinion, the proofs of evidence in the police case file show enough evidence for arraignment in court, make volte face, just in another breath, and write a letter (ref: DPP/2011/039/001A dated 23rd May, 2013) to the same Magistrate advising him that the records of proofs of evidence do not in his opinion show enough evidence to sustain the charge against the accused persons”,

He requested for a declaration that the said vacillation of Barr. Ani, as the state AG in the said issue, “is nothing short of a naked usurpation of the duty of the Magistrate Court before whom charge No MWG/8C/2013 had been brought by the said 3rd defendant, that is to say, Barr. Anthony Ani, the Enugu state attorney general”

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