Governor Ganduje of Kano State raised eyebrows in legal circles. In the wake of his bribery scandal and video leak, the Kano State House of Assembly sought to probe him. It was the National Coordinator of Lawyers for Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria , Barrister Mohammed Zubair that went to court obtaining an injunction to stop that move.
It was neither the Kano Attorney General, a private lawyer with fiat of the Attorney General nor the Governor suing to protect his interest. Recall the Governor can maintain an action, that’s one of the exceptions to the immunity guaranteed under Section 308 of the Constitution. It was a “busy body ” under the aegis of an NGO.
The embattled CJN, Walter Nkanu Onnoghen has filed several suits with several appeals battling for his judicial careeer. He has instructed a silky team of lawyers to champion his cause. Few days ago we woke up to hear that a Federal High Court has barred the EFCC from freezing his account.
My chagrin was heightened when I discovered that the embattled CJN was not the person that approached the Court. Rather it was an NGO under the aegis of Defence and Assistance Project Ltd/GTE that so did.
Thus an order never sought by the CJN personally through his team consisting of high profile Senior Advocates and Senior Lawyers is sought by an NGO to be enjoyed by the CJN who never deemed it necessary to do so himself!
This now leads to the question has right to sue, canvass for reliefs so watered down that it is for all and sundry regardless of the cause of action and relief involved?
Though over the years by public interest spirited advocacy the issue of locus standi has been watered down to some extent. By way of legislation the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Rules has eroded the right to sue making it an all comers affairs.
Could it be said that the Ganduje/Onnoghen episodes are public interest litigation for that lee way to go to Court by anybody be allowed? Surely it is not a Fundamental rights litigation.
Is this surely a welcome precedence?