Two Senators Want Court to Halt Moves to Impeach Saraki

Senators Rafiu Ibrahim Adebayo, representing Kwara South Senatorial District and Isa Hamma Misau, Bauchi Central Senatorial District, Monday, approached a Federal High Court, Abuja, against the impeachment of Senate President, Bukola Saraki and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu.
Saraki has defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), recently.
The suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/872/2018 in the originating summons, filed on their behalf by Mahmud Magaji (SAN), the plaintiffs want the Federal High Court to determine whether in view of the provision of section 50(1)(a) and (2) of the 1999 constitution Saraki, who defected to another political party as a result of division in his former party can be made to vacate his office other than in accordance with section 50 of the constitution.
The plaintiffs also want the court to determine whether Saraki can be compelled to vacate his office on the grounds that he is not a member of the political party with majority of senators in the Senate in view of the combined reading of section 50 of the constitution and order 3 rule 8 of the Senate standing orders.
The court was also urged to determine whether the Senate President can be said to have vacated his office by virtue of section 50(2) of the constitution when he has not ceased to be a member of the Senate or the Senate dissolved.
Defendants in the suit are the Senate, Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Senate leader, Ahmed Lawal, Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Naallah, Deputy Minority, Emmanuel Bwacha, Clerk of the Senate, Deputy Clerk of the Senate, Attorney General of the Federation, Inspector General of Police and the Department State Security (DSS).
In a motion on notice filed along with the originating summons, the plaintiffs prayed the court for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the 4th to 11th defendants, jointly and severally either by themselves, their agents, servants and privies from unlawfully removing the Senate President pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
They also prayed the court for another order of interlocutory injunction restraining the 9th to 10th defendants from unlawfully interfering with the lawful legislative duties of the Senate President pending the hearing and determination of their originating summons.
Besides, the plaintiffs asked for an order of interlocutory injunction stopping the 10 and 11 defendants from harassing, intimidating, arresting or detaining the President of the Senate in respect of the lawful exercise of his duties pursuant to section 50(1) of the constitution and another order directing parties in the case to maintain status quo pending the determination of the substantive matter.
The motion was predicated on a 7 grounds amongst which were that the agents of the Inspector General of Police and DSS have taken steps to flagrantly breach the provision of section 50 by employing their agents to disrupt the plenary of the Senate without recourse to the said provision.
Another grounds was that the constitutional provision of removal of the Senate President does not empower the AGF, police and DSS to unlawfully interfere with the legislative duties of the Senate by causing a blockade at the premises of the national assembly complex or using their agents to disrupt the lawful duties of the Senate.
In a 13 paragraph affidavit in support of the motion on notice and deposed to by Senator Isah Misau, he averred that the Senate is a body recognized and established by the 1999 constitution vested with powers of making laws for the good governance and well-being of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The deponent averred that the Senate held a plenary sitting between July 24 and 27 and that it was presided over by its President and that at the end of the sitting members adjourned to September 25.
The Senator claimed that the APC as a platform for the Senate President had been bedeviled by crisis resulting in divisions and factionalization at the federal, state and local government levels prompting many Senators including the Senate President to defect and join parties of their choice.
Misau further averred that the defection of the Senators did not go down well with the APC leadership and have been threatening and boasting that the office of the Senate President has become vacant by virtue of defecting to another party.
The Senator claimed that unless the defendants and their agents are restrained from taking laws into their hands, the constitution of Nigeria would not only be breached and violated but would also plunged the entire country into a constitutional and social crisis of immense magnitude because of their threat that Nigeria will not know peace unless the Senate President is unlawfully removed.
No date has yet been fixed for hearing of the suit.

Author: News Editor

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