Court grants order to arrest, sack Amaechi, Onu
Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division has granted an order of mandamus seeking the arrest and immediate sack of Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and his Science and Technology counterpart, Ogbonnaya Onu, over recent allegations levelled against them by two justices of the Supreme Court.
The applicant, Human Rights Foundation International, sought the order in its substantive suit where it prayed the court to compel the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to “perform their statutory obligations” by immediately arresting and prosecuting the two ministers.
The group also sought an order of mandamus compelling President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sack both ministers “in the interest of the public and morality” based on allegations of attempts to influence court decisions as claimed by the two jurists.
A copy of the enrolled order made on December 1 specifically called for the disengagement of the ministers pending when they were cleared by a court of competent jurisdiction.
The plaintiff further asked for an order of mandamus under the reviewed Administrative Action/Inaction Procedure, to first seek and obtain the leave of court through an ex-parte application to properly commence the suit.
In the relief sought, the plaintiff raised the following questions: “Whether or not the allegation made by Justices Inyang Okoro and Sylvester N. Ngwuta in connection with the criminal-like invasion of their houses by the DSS on allegation of corruption, which the matter is already in the public domain, should be investigated and those arrested be prosecuted by the third and fourth defendants.
“Whether or not the allegation is a reasonable ground to warrant the 5th defendant, which is the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and who claims that his administration is fighting corruption, to sack or compel Amaechi and Onu to resign from office as ministers pending when they are cleared of every allegation of corruption.”
Both justices had in two separate correspondences to former Chief Justice Mahmud Mohammed accused the ministers of attempting to influence court decisions in some election cases between 2015 and this year.
The matter has, however, been slated for mention on December 15.