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Industrial Court Mulls Out-of-Court Settlement Between FG, Lamido Sanusi


BEVERLY HILLS, CA, June 13, (THEWILL) - The possibility of an out-of-court settlement is currently being explored by the National Industrial Court (NIC) in the case between the Federal Government and the former Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who is now the Emir of Kano.

President of the court, Justice Babatunde Adejumo, who suggested the idea, Friday, counseled President Goodluck Jonathan, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and Lamido Sanusi to explore an amicable settlement of the dispute over the latter's suspension from office.

Justice Adejumo gave the advice at the resumed hearing of the suit filed by Lamido Sanusi challenging his suspension from office by President Jonathan before the expiration of his tenure.

It would be recalled that Lamido Sanusi was suspended by President Jonathan on February 20 following which Lamido Sanusi dragged the President, the AGF and the IGP to the Federal High Court, Abuja, to challenge the suspension and to seek an order restraining the defendants or their agents from arresting and prosecuting him. Presiding judge of the court, Justice Gabriel Kolawole , had declined jurisdiction over the case and transferred it to the NIC.

But on Friday, when parties to the case were expected to argue their applications for stay of proceedings , the plaintiff's lawyer, Kola Awodein (SAN), informed the court of his intention to consult his client before taking any further steps in the case.

He noted that between the last date and Friday, some developments have occurred relating to the plaintiff to necessitate his lawyers taking further instructions from him.

He therefore applied for time to enable him consult with his client. Lawyers to the defendants, including Mike Ozekhome (SAN), did not object to Awodein's application as he acknowledged being informed, before the court's proceedings, of the plaintiff lawyer's desire for time to consult with his client.

Before adjourning the case to July 4 for further hearing, Justice Adejumo therefore said he was adjourning for parties to seek ways of ensuring an amicable settlement in the case. He maintained that unlike any other conventional courts, his court was mandated to encourage disputing parties to ensure amicable settlement.

'I will strongly commend, by virtue of the provision of this court's establishment Act, that parties seek amicable way of resolving this dispute.

“In industrial and employment relations, the court is not concerned about the consequence of its pronouncement on parties alone, but on the entire society.

'In consulting with their clients, counsel should know what to say to contribute to the effort to ensure amicable settlement,' he said.