Tenure: Court Dismisses Suit Seeking Fowler ‘s Sack As FIRS Boss

A Federal High Court sitting in Kano has dismissed a suit seeking the sacking of Dr. Babatunde Fowler as the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

The suit instituted by a legal practitioner Mr. Stanley Okwara was thrown out by the court on the ground that the lawyer has no locus standi to institute it.

Okwara had dragged Fowler before the court praying among others, an order of court restraining him from further functioning as FIRS Chief Executive Officer.

He predicted his action on the claim that the tenure of office of the defendant had expired since August 20 and has not been renewed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The plaintiff also prayed the court to declare that the tenure of Fowler expired since August and that he should be made to refund all monies and allowances to the national treasury.

Okwara further demanded that the defendant be ordered to swear to an affidavit to confirm refund of public funds unlawfully collected from August till date.

However Fowler through his counsel Paul Erokoro SAN raised a preliminary objection to the suit on the ground that the plaintiff has no locus standi to file the case.

Among others, Fowler contended that the suit did not disclose any cause of action and that the plaintiff did not also disclose any injury or damages he personally lost.

Justice Lewis-Allagoa in his ruling on the objection upheld the submission of the defendant counsel.

The judge agreed that the plaintiff did not show how the disputed issue affected him more than any other Nigerians.

Justice Allagoa faulted the plaintiff suit due to the failure to show pre-action notice as required by law.

The Judge, therefore, held that the suit is incompetent,  frivolous, lacking in merit and substance and stuck it out.

The arguments of counsel to the plaintiff Mr. Johnmary Jideobi was rejected and thrown out.

The Court had last week ordered Fowler to appear before it to show cause why he should not be sacked for overstaying his tenure which expired on August 18, 2019.

In the originating summon obtained by PRNigeria with Suit No FHC/KN/CS/141/2019, the FIRS Boss was dragged to Court over his continued stay in office after the expiration of tenure.

The plaintiff in the suit filed on September 18, 2019, also joined the Attorney General of the Federation as the second defendant.