Suspended Kano anti-corruption commission boss files suit

The suspended chairman, Kano State Public Complaint and Anti Corruption Commission,  Muhuyi Rimin-Gado on Wednesday, challenged his suspension before the National Industrial Court.

Rimin-Gado instituted the suit challenging his suspension against the Kano State government and five others.

Joined as co-dependents in the suit are the Attorney General of Kano, Kano State House of Assembly, Accountant General Kano.

Others are Acting Chairman of the Commission, Mahmud Balarabe and Kano Commissioner of Police as first,second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth defendants respectively.

The matter which was slated for mention came up before Justice Oyejoju Oyewumi.

The claimant counsel, Muhammad Tola informed the court that all parties had been served processes, however that they were yet to enter appearance.

He further informed the court that he had two motions that he wanted to withdraw.

He applied for the withdrawal of a motion ex-parte dated and filed Dec.3,2021 and also an interlocutory application dated and filed on Dec.3,2021.

In response, Abdulsalam Saleh, counsel to the first, second and fourth defendants said that they had filed memorandum of conditional appearance.

Saleh in addition stated that they plan to file a motion for the matter to be transferred to Kano division of the court.

The counsel said that the cause of action and all the parties are in Kano.

The judge on her part asked Tola the reason the suit was not filed in Kano.

She said although she drew the attention of the President of the court to this fact, she was directed to handle the matter

Tola submitted that the suit was filed in Abuja because of the security situation in Kano between the claimant’s supporters and the State Government supporters.

He added that although the matter was an employment matter, that there was a political undertone to it.

Abdul Adamu, counsel to the third and fifth defendants submitted
that they had filed and served a memorandum of conditional appearance on Jan.17 and that they had filed and served on Wednesday a counter- affidavit and a motion for summary judgment.

Tola in response clarified that his reason for telling the court that that defendants had not entered appearance was because they filed their processes out of time as they had to file their processes within 14 days.

The judge ruled that first to fifth defendants having reacted to the originating processes, that the matter was ripe for hearing

She further stated that concerning the issue of counsel filing processes out of time, she was going to go through the processes.

Oyewumi in addition directed the claimant’s counsel to respond to the processes served by Adamu and reply to same within seven days.

She stated that since the defendants counsel were not objecting to Tola’s application seeking to withdraw the two motions, she granted the applications by striking them out.

The judge also adjourned the matter until March 7, for report of the processes served.

The judge in conclusion directed that hearing notice be served on the sixth defendant, Kano commissioner of police, who was absent in court.

From facts, the Kano State House of Assembly  suspended the claimant as the substantive chairman of the Commission on July 5, 2021.

Subsequently, on July 26, 2021 a letter was recommended for his dismissal and immediate arrest and prosecution over an alleged forgery.

The counsel is urging the court to determine whether by virtue of Sections 4(a), 5, & 6 of Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission Law 2008 (As Amended), the fifth defendant has a legal restitute and right to continue parading himself as the acting chairman of the Commission after the expiration of one month suspension of the claimant by the first defendant.

Whether the first defendant can suspend the claimant indefinitely and without the payment of his entitlement as the chairman of the Commission.

Whether the involvement of the sixth defendant into the purely administrative issue through targeted investigations does not amount to the abuse of office and enforcing double jeopardy on the claimant.

The claimant is therefore seeking for the following reliefs against the defendants jointly and severally, thus:

A declaration that the third defendant has no right to determine the fourth defendant petition by causing the suspension of the claimant by according him the opportunity of defending himself.

The claimant is also praying the court to declare that his suspension as a result of the third and fourth defendants’ actions is malicious, ultra vires, null and void, thereby infringing on the claimant’s fundamental right of fair hearing.

Another declaration as sought by the claimant is that the fifth defendant acting as chairman of the Commission is illegal, ultra vires and unlawful.

The claimant is therefore seeking a declaration that he is the substantive chairman of the Commission and therefore entitled to all the benefits of his office.

The claimant in addition is seeking for a declaration of the court that the sixth defendant has no business in the matter which is within the exclusive competence of the court to decide.

Rimin-Gado is equally seeking for an order of the court that his suspension as chairman of the Commission is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.

Rimin-Gado is also praying the court for an order restraining the sixth defendant perpetually from meddling in his affairs on any matter affecting his workplace. (NAN)