A Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday declared the tenure of the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau, Mr. Sam Saba, and nine other members of the bureau as expired.
Justice Binta Nyako, in her judgment in the suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/411/2016, held that the five-year tenure of the chairman and nine others had expired since April 2015.
She held that by virtue of section 155 (1) (c) and Paragraph 1, Part 1, Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), Saba and others, all of whom were appointed in 2010, were only entitled to stay in office for five years.
The case was filed by Kingdom Human Rights Foundation International, through its director and lawyer, Mr. Okere Nnamdi.
President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), and the CCB, were the three respondents to the suit.
Although, Justice Nyako refused to grant prayers seeking an order compelling the President to remove and replace Saba, as well as the nine other members, the judge directed the AGF to advise the President on the tenure of members of the CCB board.
She specifically granted the prayer for “a declaration of the honourable court that the tenure of office of the Chairman and nine other members of the Code of Conduct Bureau has elapsed since April 2015; in view of section 155 (1)(c) and Paragraph 1, Part 1, Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).”
But she only partially granted the two other main reliefs in which the plaintiff sought a declaration that the AGF had failed in his responsibility by not advising the President on the expiration of the tenure of the Chairman and members of the CCB.
In partially granting the two reliefs, the judge only directed the AGF to give the President the needed advice on the issue.
She also refused to grant the consequential reliefs sought by the plaintiff, seeking orders of mandamus compelling the President to remove and appoint replacements for Saba and others.
The judge held that such reliefs seeking an order of mandamus could only be brought under an application for judicial review and not under an originating summons as filed in the case.
Therefore, the plaintiff’s prayer for an order of mandamus, compelling Saba and others to return to the Federation account, all salaries, allowances, and emoluments they had allegedly collected since 2015, when their tenure expired till date, was also not granted on the same ground.
The court also turned down the prayer for an order of mandamus directing the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission “to immediately arrest, investigate and prosecute the Chairman and nine other members of the CCB” for allegedly staying in office fraudulently.