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 Constitution amendment: S’Court asks Jonathan, NASS to settle before Wednesday

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PostSubject: Constitution amendment: S’Court asks Jonathan, NASS to settle before Wednesday   2015-05-26, 04:44

The Supreme Court on Monday
gave President Goodluck Jonathan
and the National Assembly till
Wednesday to settle their
disagreement over the process of
amending the 1999 Constitution.
The seven-man panel of the apex
court, led by the Chief Justice of
Nigeria, Justice Mahmud
Mohammed, asked the senior
lawyers appearing in the matter to
broker the settlement talk.
The court then adjourned till
Wednesday for the report of the
The surprise twist came after the
counsel for the plaintiff, the
Attorney-General of the Federation,
Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN), failed in his
bid to change the plaintiff from the
AGF to President Jonathan.
Ojo appeared with Duro Adeyele
(SAN) for the plaintiff while Chief
Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) led
three other SANs — Ikechukwu
Ezechukwu, Yakubu Maikyau and
Mrs. Victoria Awomolo — for the
National Assembly.
Ojo had anchored the application
filed on May 20, 2015 on the
provisions of Order 3, Rules 1, 14
and 15 of the Supreme Court Rules
and Order 17, Rules 1 and 2 as well
as Order 9 Rule 2 of the Federal
High Court Civil Procedure Rules.
As soon as he moved the motion,
some members of the panel took
turn to fault it on the grounds that
Ojo ought to have filed an entirely
fresh suit in the name of the
President as the plaintiff, instead of
filing an application for the
substitution of the AGF.
The panel also maintained that
since the AGF who was being
sought to be substituted was
believed to be a wrong plaintiff in
the suit; he lacked the competence
to file an application to bring in the
competent plaintiff.
“You can’t build something on
nothing and expect it to stand,”
one member of the panel told Ojo.
The panel also maintained that
there was no way the court could
grant the second prayer in the
application which sought an order
amending all the processes in the
suit to reflect the President as the
new plaintiff.
The CJN explained that such an
order could not be granted in view
of the fact that the court lacked the
power to amend the supporting
affidavit which was one of the
processes being referred to by Ojo.
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