ATTORNEY GENERAL OF ANAMBRA STATE v. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION
In The Supreme Court of Nigeria
On Thursday, the 5th day of April, 2007
NIKI TOBI Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria
GEORGE ADESOLA OGUNTADE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria
ALOMA MARIAM MUKHTAR Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria
MAHMUD MOHAMMED Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria
WALTER SAMUEL NKANU ONNOGHEN Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria
IBRAHIM TANKO MUHAMMAD Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria
CHRISTOPHER MITCHELL CHUKWUMA-ENEH Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF ANAMBRA STATE Appellant(s)
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION Respondent(s)
NIKI TOBI, J .S.C. (Delivering the Leading Judgment): I have examined the briefs of both parties. The original jurisdiction of this court is provided for in Section 232 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999. The jurisdiction includes any dispute between the Federation and a State or between States.
Although this suit is commenced by the Attorney-General of Anambra State against the Attorney-General of the Federation, the dispute is in respect of when the four-year tenure of the Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, will expire. The Declaration sought is that the four-year tenure should be reckoned from 17th March, 2006 when the Governor subscribed to the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Office.
In my view, the matter does not affect the State Government. And what is more, there is no dispute against the Federal Government. In effect, no dispute arises between the Anambra State Government and the Federal Government of Nigeria. As a matter of law, the Federal Government qua Government of the Federation has nothing to do in respect of the tenure of a Governor. That is I will give more detailed reasons for my judgment on 8th June, 2007.
GEORGE ADESOLA OGUNTADE, J.S.C.: Court: Suit struck out for want of jurisdiction. I agree with the lead ruling by Niki Tobi, JSC.
ALOMA MARIAM MUKHTAR, J.S.C.: The jurisdiction of this court is provided for by section 232 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Constitution. This court has no jurisdiction to hear this case as per the provision in the said section 232 of the Constitution of Nigeria. In this vein, the case is hereby struck out.
MAHMUD MOHAMMED, J.S.C.: From the claim of the plaintiff in this case there is no doubt whatsoever that there is no dispute between Anambra State and the Federation of Nigeria to justify bringing this action under S. 232(1) of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999. This court has no jurisdiction to hear the case. The case is struck out. Reasons for judgment to be given later.
WALTER SAMUEL NKANU ONNOGHEN, J.S.C.: Having gone through the briefs and the processes filed, it is clear that there is no dispute between the government of Anambra State and the Federal Government so as to confer original jurisdiction on the court. Consequently, this court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain this suit which suit is hereby struck out. I therefore agree with the lead judgment summarily read this morning by Tobi, JSC.
Details to be given in a more detailed judgment on 8/6/2007.
IBRAHIM TANKO MUHAMMAD, J.S.C.: Judgment delivered by Tobi, JSC. Action is struck out. More detailed reasons for the judgment will be given on June 8th, 2007.
CHRISTOPHER MITCHELL CHUKWUMA-ENEH, J.S.C.: I have examined the judgment of this court as per 232 of 1999 Constitution. I do not see any dispute between the Federal Government and the State Government. The dispute is between the INEC and Mr. Peter Obi. The suit is struck out. No order as to cost. I agree with the land ruling.
The full reasons for the judgment of this appeal given on Friday, 8th June, 2007 is reported elsewhere in this report-(2007) LPELR-24343(SC), (2007) 12 NWLR (Pt.1047) 4.
Awa A. Kalu, SAN (with him, P. I. Ikwueto, SAN; Prof. E. Azinge, SAN; Dr. V. J. O. Azinge; Dr. O. F. Ayeni; J. N. Nwokolobia; M. C. Kalu; I. Bozimo; O. Fadare; M. C. Okonkwo and C. OFor Appellant
Chief Bayo Ojo, SAN – Attorney-General of the Federation (with him, A. O. Mbamalu [Mrs.](DCL) and C. O. Assam (ACLO)For Respondent