Constitution Amendment: Parties To Resolve Dispute Out Of Court
The apex court directed the two parties to meet and harmonise their position on the ground that the issues in dispute, are so simple and can be resolve without the court’s intervention.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, gave the directive after the counsel to the Attorney-General of the Federation, Bayo Ojo, agreed to explore an out of court settlement of the issue, after the court drew his attention to the fact that his application was defective.
The Supreme Court, however, asked the counsel to the National Assembly, Adeboyega Awomolo, to give an undertaking that he would advise his clients appropriately to maintain status quo, so as to explore an out of court resolution.
With both parties agreeing to meet and harmonise their position, the court adjourned the matter to Wednesday, May 27 for report on settlement or for further hearing.
The trouble started when the National Assembly threatened to veto the powers of President Goodluck Jonathan, for his refusal to sign the 4th amendment of the constitution into law.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Barrister Mohammed Adoke, then approached the court which in turn granted an order, urging both parties to maintain status quo, following an application by counsel to the Federal Government to substitute the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) with the President as the plaintiff in the case.
Mr Ojo was against the application by Mr Awomolo, that the originating surmount was defective as such, it should be struck out.
The court also disagreed with the Presidency on motion to substitute the plaintiff on the ground that even if the names were substituted, the originating surmount was still defective because the affidavit was deposed on behalf of the AGF.
On that ground, the AGF was advised to withdraw the summon and come before the court afresh or in the alternative explore out of court settlement.
The inability of Mr Awomolo to give an undertaking that the status quo will be maintained to preserve the last order, prompted the court to ask them to go and reconcile and report to the court on Wednesday.