A Federal High Court in Abuja has refused the application seeking to stop the Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki from performing his constitutional legislative duties on account of use of the allegedly forged Senate Standing Rule for his June 9 Election in the Senate.
Saraki floored Senators Abu Ibrahim, Kabiru Garba Marafa, Robert Ajayi Boroffice, Bareehu Olugbenga Ashafa and Senator Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi, who stormed the court with an ex-parte motion seeking to stop the Senate President from constituting the Senate Standing Committees.
The plaintiffs joined Saraki, Deputy Senate President, Clerk of the National Assembly and the Senate as defendants in the substantive suit.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole, while ruling on the ex-parte motion filed and argued by Chief Mamman Mike Osuman on behalf of the five senators led by Senator Kabir Marafa, held that there was nothing urgent in what the plaintiffs were asking for.
The judge said that the Senate Standing Order 2015 as amended upon which the plaintiffs predicated their ex-parte motion, had been in existence since June 9 when the senate president and his deputy were elected and as such the issue of urgency raised by the five senators was “self inflicted.”
Justice Kolawole also said that by rushing to the court 24 hours to the resumption of the senate plenary, the court will not indulge in granting a belated request because the issue of urgency in the case instituted against Saraki and five others has become belated.
Beside, the judge wondered how only five out of 109 senators will come to court to challenge the internal affairs of the senate carried out on June 9 by the majority of the senators.
Justice Kolawole further added that the court was not created to supervise the internal affairs of the National Assembly but can only intervene if there is an infraction of the constitution in the conduct of its internal affairs.
He warned that even when the National Assembly misapplied its own rules, the courts must be wary in intervening, and should even be more wary when the intervention is sought as an ex-parte.
According to the judge, the dispute that aroused from the outcome of the election that produced the senate president and his deputy was the internal affairs of the senate and the court would hardly intervene in such internal affairs.
He said that it was a fact that the senate was convoked on the authority of President Muhammadu Buhari and that the election that followed did not go down well with some members, adding that it was a normal thing in a democracy for majority to have their way and minority have their say.
Kolawole further said that the senate standing order 2015 as amended being considered forged by the five plaintiffs had no substantial infraction on the 1999 constitution to warrant court’s intervention.
He said: “I find myself unable to exercise my discretion to grant the injunction being sought by the plaintiffs to stop the defendants from carrying out their constitutional legislative duties”.
The Judge, therefore, refused to grant the ex-parte application and, instead, ordered the plaintiffs to put the defendants on notice.
He adjourned the case to August 5 for hearing of the substantive suit.