By Uche Amunike
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad has invited six chief judges in the country to answer to the conflicting court orders gotten from their states in the past one month.
The CJN who also sits as Chairman of the National Judicial Council, NJC, sent out the summons to the Chief Judges, Monday in Abuja.
The summons indicated that the affected Chief Judges are to appear before the NJC to answer to how come they were able to warrant the issuance of conflicting orders by Courts within that jurisdiction.
The affected Chief Judges are those of Rivers, Kebbu, Cross River, Anambra, Imo and Jigawa states.
Tanko was embittered that the actions of the Chief Judges is a huge embarrassment to the Nigerian judiciary by the actions of those who issued conflicting orders through ex-parte applications by certain political parties.
The Chief Judge of Nigeria Spokesperson, Ahuraka Isah, attested to the summons issued by Mr Mohammad to the Chief Judges. The affected court heads are to appear before the Chief Judge of Nigeria in order to throw more light on their reasons for using conflicting orders by courts of coordinate jurisdiction in their domains.
In the summons,the CJN made it known that media reports said that some courts of coordinate jurisdiction were granting conflicting ex-parte orders on the same subject matter.
The questionable ex-parte orders given in different political cases started from the judges of the states in the South-south, North-west and South-east regions.
The affected judges are to present themselves to the Chief Justice of Nigeria as a prelude to the major probe by the National Judicial Council to answer to what led to the warranted issuance of conflicting orders by the courts of coordinate jurisdictions.
He said he was further compelled to warn the judges on the need to be articulate in issuing ex-parte applications.
Recall that the judiciary seemed to join the fray of political crisis rocking certain political parties in the country by indiscriminately giving orders and counter orders.
According to lawyers,all the questionable orders were issued without respecting the principles of territorial jurisdiction, caution that was expected of a judge in handling an ex-parte hearing on the need for a court to distance itself from any matter already being handled by a court of coordinate jurisdiction.
It cited the example of such orders issued on the choice of the gubernatorial candidates of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, for the forthcoming Anambra elections.
Politicians have exhibited desperation by crossing Courtrooms in different parts of the country in order to get orders on the party’s gubernatorial candidates for the forthcoming Anambra state election.
In one week three different courts in different states also issued counter orders about the office of the PDP national chairman.
In another vein, in the Kebbi State High Court in Birnin Kebbi restored Mr Secondus’ mandate as the national chairman of PDP on August 27.
The day after his reinstatement, a Calabar High Court in Cross River State issued an interim order restraining him from resuming office as PDP chairman.