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LT. GENERAL ISHAYA RIZI BAMAIYI (RTD.) V. ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION & ORS.

(2001) JELR 33795 (SC)

Supreme Court  •  SC.45/2000  •  13 Jul 2001  •  Nigeria

Coram
ADOLPHUS GODWIN KARIBI-WHYTE JSC; ABUBAKAR BASHIR WALI JSC; UTHMAN MOHAMMED JSC; ANTHONY IKECHUKWU IGUH JSC; ALOYSIUS IYORGYER KATSINA-ALU JSC; OKAY ACHIKE SAMSON JSC; EMMANUEL OLAYINKA AYOOLA JSC;

Judgement

MOHAMMED, J.S.C. (Delivering the Leading Judgment): The main issue in this appeal is whether the Court of Appeal has any discretion under section 295(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic to refuse to answer a question referred to it by the Federal High Court.

The background facts of this case briefly are in the following narrative. The appellant who was Chief of Staff of Nigerian Army during the regime of late General Sani Abacha was invited by the National Security Adviser, the 2nd respondent, for questioning. He was alleged to have facilitated the provision of arms that were used in the attempted murder of Mr. Alex Ibru. The appellant was detained in a house at Forte IBB Barracks, Abuja on 13th October, 1999.

On 5th November, 1999 the appellant sought leave to enforce his fundamental right challenging his detention. He also applied to the trial Federal High Court for the following declaratory reliefs and orders:

"A. A declaration that the arrest of the applicant on 1…

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