Justice Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court has dismissed a suit on the tenure of Mr. Tunde Fowler, Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS.
Justice Allagoa struck out the suit afte upholding the preliminary objection filed by Paul Erokoro, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN counsel to Fowler, that Stanley Okwara, the plaintiff, has no locus standi to file the suit.
The judge came to this conclusion after he reviewed, for over an hour, all the legal authorities cited by lawyers appearing in court.
Justice Allagoa said he “cannot see how the rights of the plaintiff (Stanley Okwara has been rightly or wrongly affected” by the non-appointment of the Executive Chairman, FIRS after August 15. “In this case”, said the judge, “the plaintiff said he is an unemployed legal practitioner. How specifically that affects his rights to file this suit is not disclosed”.
The judge agreed with Paul Erokoro that Okwara has no cause of action and that it was fatal to his suit that he didn’t file a pre-action notice to the court, as required by the Federal Inland Revenue Establishment Act 2007. Said Justice Allagoa: “I agree with the first defendant that the plaintiff ought to have served the defendant with a pre-action notice. Learned SAN asked the court to strike out the suit. I so hold”.
The judge also upheld Erokoro’s submission that the suit should be struck out as there is no “justiciable cause of action. ’Ï upheld the Preliminary Objection of the first defendant and his plea that the plaintiff has no justiciable cause of action. The suit is hereby struck out”.
Okwara had asked a Kano Federal High Court in suit No FHC/KN/CS/141/2019, to order Fowler to vacate his office, which, he claimed expired on August 18, 2019.
Okwara claimed that Fowler was appointed on the 20th August, 2015, has not ceased to hold office as the Chairman of FIRS after the 20th August, 2019.
Citing the provisions of Sections 3(2) (a), Section 4(a) and Section 11 (a)” of the FIRS Establishment Act 2007 and the decision of the Supreme Court in Ogbuinyinya & Ors. vs. Obi Okudo & Ors. (1979) All N.L.R. 105, Okwara claimed Fowler has no business to continue to hold office.
He wants the court to order Fowler to refund all payments to the Treasury or personal injury suffered by him at all above that of the general public on Fowler’s tenure.