Justice Adamu Bello of a Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday cautioned the National Judicial Council (NJC) against taking further steps on the probe of former Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Justice Lawal Hassan Gummi.
He said that parties in the suit challenging the legality of the probe panel should respect the principle of les pendis (pending matter before the court), as anything or decision reached during the pendency of the suit can be reversed or quashed as it will amount to subjudice.
“I remind parties in this suit to respect the principles of les pendis, as the court has powers to reverse and quash any decision taken during the pendency of the case,” the Judge held.
The pronouncement of Justice Bello followed a complain by Chief Okunade Olorundare (SAN) with Sam Ologunorisa (SAN) that Justice Gummi, now the Emir of Gummi in Zamfara State was still being summoned to appear before NJC probe panel, in spite of his pending court action against the council.
Olorundare had sought to move a motion for interlocutory injunction to restrain the probe panel from taken further actions on the matter. His move was opposed by counsel to NJC and other defendants who stood their ground that the motion was not ripe for hearing.
Chief Jimoh Lasisi (SAN), lead counsel to the NJC, while opposing the moving of the interlocutory motion, said that he had just been briefed and just filed his memorandum of appearance and that they needed time to file counter motion.
He also told the court that the motion in question was filed and served last Friday and was not ripe for hearing.
Justice Bello, in his brief ruling, agreed that the motion was not ripe for hearing, having not been filed along with Originating Summons.
He added that he could not give injunction on a motion that has not been heard.
The Judge, however, cautioned parties in the suit to take cognisance of the fact that the matter is before the court and should not take further steps in the investigation.
Gummi had sued NJC and six others challenging the competence of the NJC to subject him to probe, having seized to be a serving judicial officer by reason of his letter of voluntary retirement dated May 13, 2013 and the payment of three months salary in lieu of notice.