The Chief Judge of Benue State, Justice Maurice Ikpambese, has dismissed the Motion on Notice filed by Governor of Benue State, Hyacinth Alia, asking the State High Court to set aside the judgment obtained by 23 suspended Local Government (LG) chairmen from the National Industrial Court, Makurdi Division.
Justice Maurice Ikpambese dismissed the application for judicial review for lacking in merit.
The Makurdi Division of the National Industrial Court had in a judgment delivered by Justice I. A. Essien, restrained the governor, the state government, Speaker of the state House of Assembly, and three others from dissolving or suspending the elected council bosses without due process before the expiration of their tenure in office on June 29, 2024, amongst other reliefs.
In reaction to the judgment, those restrained filed a motion seeking a judicial review of the judgment of the court.
Ruling on the application, Justice Ikpambese held that a court can only sit over the judgment of a court of coordinate jurisdiction if the judgment is a nullity or the judgment was obtained by fraud.
He ruled that the court is incompetent to review the judgment of a brother court especially as the issue of jurisdiction was dealt with in the said judgment.
Justice Ikpambese further held that there was no basis for the applicants to approach the court for a judicial review, and added that what the applicants ought to do is to appeal the judgment of the National Industrial Court.
Justice Ikpambese dismissed the application for lack of merit.
Similarly, the court dismissed the originating summons by the embattled chairmen, challenging their suspension on the grounds that the same reliefs sought in the suit before the court were granted by the National Industrial Court, which is a court of coordinate jurisdiction.
Reacting to the development, the Chairman of Kwande of Local Government, Orjiir Gbande, described the judgment as sound, noting that, it is another a victory for democracy.