Court fixes date to hear Major General’s suit against Army Council

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According to reports, the National Industrial Court will hear Major General Ijioma Ijioma’s case against the Nigeria Army Council on October 24.

Tukur-Buratai

Ijioma is challenging his retirement by the Nigeria Army Council through a letter dated June 9, 2016.

When the mater came up for hearing, the court could not continue because it was not clear which counsel represented the defendant.

The judge, Justice Maureen Esowe, said the adjournment would enable the counsel, Ibrahim Etsu and Michael Owolabi, to sort out the issues of representation.

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The claimant joined the Minister of Defence, Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Army staff as co-respondents.

Ijioma’s Counsel, Chief Michael Ozekhome (SAN), expressed displeasure over the inability of the counsel to sort out the issue of representation.

Ozekhome said: “We cannot continue to wait for the counsels to put themselves together, they had four months to agree on who to represent the defendants.’’

Ozekhome argued that the suit was timed barred, adding that any further adjournment could jeopardise his client’s interest.

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On July 21, Ijioma’s counsel had asked the court to reinstate his client, pending the determination of the suit.

Ozekhome had also asked the court to direct the respondents to put on hold the immediate stoppage of all documentation process relating to his client exist entitlements.

He also urged the court to direct that the claimant’s entitlement shall commence within 90 days if the substantive suit fails.

Ozekhome argued further that due process was not followed by the Nigeria Army in the purported retirement of Ijioma from service, adding that the action was unlawful and unconstitutional.

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The court in its ruling on July 26 restrained the Army Council from commencing within 90 days the documentation of the retirement of Ijioma.

It, however, declined the prayers for the reinstatement of Ijioma since the substantive suit had not been heard.

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