Posted by By Tobi Soniyi, Abuja on
A Federal High Court in Abuja, on Thursday, dismissed a suit filed by a Chief Superintendent of Police, Mr. Cletus Ezerebo.....
A Federal High Court in Abuja, on Thursday, dismissed a suit filed by a Chief Superintendent of Police, Mr. Cletus Ezerebo, challenging the extension of the appointment of Mr. Sunday Ehindero as the Inspector-General of Police.
Justice Stephen Adah said Ezerebo did not show what he stood to lose if Ehindero remained in office as the police boss.
The judge said the police officer lacked the locus standi to institute an action challenging Ehindero‘s appointment as IG.
Ezerebo had in April instituted the suit, asking the court to nullify Ehindero’s appointment as the IG.
He joined President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Attorney- General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, the Nigeria Police Council, the Nigeria Police Force and the Police Service Commission as defendants.
Ehindero was the first defendant.
Ezerebo argued that Ehindero ought to have left the service on March 20, having reached the mandatory retirement age of 60 years.
The judge, however, did not go into the merit of Ezerebo‘s case. He merely upheld the preliminary objection filed by Ehindero.
Other reasons given by the judge for dismissing the suit were that as a serving police officer, Ezerebo could not institute a case against the police or the IG without getting an authorisation from the police.
The judge said by virtue of Police Regulation 377, no serving police officer could institute a case against the police institution unless he got approval from the authority.
He said, "I have looked at all the processes filed in the case, no where was it shown that the plaintiff obtained the approval of the police to commence the action. This case was not commenced with due authorisation.
"Having failed to perform a condition precedent to instituting his case, this court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain this suit. This suit is incompetent.
"Accordingly, I hereby strike our the case."
The court, however, rejected Ehindero‘s argument that the case was barred by statute of limitation, which prescribed three months after which an action could be instituted to challenge an official act. Adah said that the suit was commenced within time.