At least 17 cases have been filed at different courts across the country over the retention of Ibrahim Magu as the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Lawyers in one of the cases filed before Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court in Abuja told the court on Tuesday that a related case was filed in the Yola Division of the court in Adamawa State, while another case on the same subject is before the Kano Division of the Federal High Court, the Punch reports.
It was learnt that some of the 17 cases were in support of Magu, while the rest sought Magu’s removal from office on the grounds that he had been rejected by the Senate.
One of the pro-Magu suits was the one being heard by Justice Kolawole on Tuesday. During the hearing, two lawyers, representing two different law firms, presented separate letters of engagement to them to represent the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and the Senate.
While Mr. S. O. Alhassan presented a letter, which engaged his law firm in June, Mr. Peter Abang presented a letter briefing his law firm in August.
The judge directed the two lawyers to sort out the conflicting briefs they got from the Senate before the next hearing date for the particular suit, which was filed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Jibrin Okutepa.
President Muhammadu Buhari, the AGF, the National Assembly, the Senate and Saraki are the respondents to this suit.
Meanwhile, Musa Abdul, who represented the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), told the court that the AGF had written to the former Chief Judge of the court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, seeking the consolidation of the cases.
He said the AGF’s office was aware of 10 cases in respect of Magu’s chairmanship of the EFCC. He argued that it was necessary to have all the cases merged and heard by one judge to avoid a situation where judges will give conflicting rulings on the case.
But one of the two lawyers, seeking to represent the Senate and Saraki in the case, Abang, said he was aware of 17 cases, not 10.
“There are, in fact, 17 cases on this subject matter. In fact, I will be appearing before Justice A. R. Mohammed in another case concerning the subject matter immediately I leave this court.
“We also have a similar suit in the Kano Division of the court,” he added.
He said his law firm had also formally requested the Chief Judge to consolidate the cases.
After listening to the parties, Justice Kolawole directed them to bring to the attention of the Acting Chief Judge of the FHC, Justice Abdu Kafarati, efforts that had been made to get the cases heard by one judge.
The rejection of Magu by the Senate sparked a disagreement between the executive and the Senate. After the presidency decided to keep Magu in an acting position, the Senate vowed it would no longer entertain the confirmation of nominees from the Presidency.