Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday reserved judgment indefinitely in a case of alleged forgery of the Standing Rules of the Senate on June 8, which paved the way for the emergence of Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and Senator Ike Ekweremadu as Deputy Senate President.
The Street Journal recalls that following the emergence of the duo as the helmsmen of the 8th Senate in a controversial election that produced them, four senators, Abu Ibrahim, Kabir Marafa, Robert Boroffice and Sulieman Hunkuyi, had approached the court seeking to sack them from their positions over alleged forgery of the Senate Rules to facilitate their election.
Joined as respondent in the suit was the clerk of the National Assembly, who was alleged to have compromised to facilitate the amendment to the Senate Standing Order 2011.
At Monday’s sitting of the court which was slated for the adoption of the final written addresses of the counsel to parties in the suit, the judge reserved judgment till a date that will be communicated to parties in due course.
The plaintiffs had in their originating summons urged the court to hold that the process that culminated in the election of Saraki and Ekweremadu contravened the the provisions of Rule 3 (3) (e) and (k) and Chapter Two of the Senate Standing Order 2011 (as amended).
Mr Mamman Ousman, SAN, counsel to the plaintiffs had, therefore, sought an order setting aside Saraki and Ekweremadu’s purported election and directing the 8th Senate to elect their presiding officers in accordance with the provision of Section 54 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The aggrieved Senators further urged the court to declare that the Senate Standing Order 2011 (as amended) was the valid and subsisting Standing Order of the 8th Senate, and the Senate Standing Order 2015 (as amended) as illegal.
They also want a declaration that the election of Messrs. Saraki and Ekweremadu as president and deputy senate president pursuant to the Senate Standing Order 2015, was illegal.
However, Mr Kayode Aleja, SAN, counsel to Mr. Saraki and Clerk of the Senate, while adopting his final written address, argued that the plaintiffs were mere “meddlesome interlopers, who lacked the requisite jurisdiction to commence the action.”
He contended that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit because doing so would amount to interference and usurpation of the power of the legislative arm of government by another arm and urged the courtto refrain from such.