The suit challenging the tenure extension of the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, Tuesday, suffered a setback at the Federal High Court due to irregular service of originating processes on the Nigerian Police Council.
The council is the fourth defendant in the matter.
Mr Maxwell Opara, an Abuja based legal practitioner filed the suit following the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to extend the tenure of Adamu as Inspector-General of Police by three months after his retirement on Feb. 1.
Counsel to Opara, Ugochukwu Ezekiel, at the resumed hearing informed the court that counsel to the president and Attorney-General of the Federation, who are the first and third defendants, served a counter affidavit on him.
He said that they raised objections to the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter.
But in the course of the proceedings, the trial judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, noticed that there was no legal representation for the fourth defendant.
Reading from the court’s record, the registrar said it was one Adeyemi, whose status was not stated that received the originating processes.
The judge therefore held that the fourth defendant was not properly served with the processes and the hearing notice, issued on March 8.
Ezekiel, however, said in his experience, the fourth defendant had been duly served.
“My Lord, in my view, having effected service on the first defendant, whose office, the fourth defendant is under, I believe the Nigeria Police Council is aware of the matter,” he said.
In his ruling, Justice Mohammed held that there was doubt as to whether the fourth defendant was properly served with the originating processes.
“Service is fundamental and we all know what happens to an entire proceeding once there is no proper service.
“The court has to be cautious and ensure that the right thing is done,” the judge said.
He ordered that originating processes be served on the fourth defendant, who had seven days to reply.
He has since adjourned the matter till March 30, for hearing.