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Budget Padding: Court Declines to Entertain Jibrin’s Suits


Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court, Abuj‎a, Wednesday, declined to entertain suits filed by a former Chairman, Appropriation Committee, House of Representatives, Abdulmumin Jibrin on alleged budget padding.
The former Appropriation Committee Chairman had through his lawyer filed the suit FHC/ABJ/CS/595/2016, against the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, his Deputy, Yusuf Lasun and other principal officers of the House of Representatives, including Alhassan Dogura and Leo Ogor, seeking order to stop their alleged plan to suspend him from the House.
‎In the other suit FHC/ABJ/CS/595/2016, which is for the enforcement of his fundamental human rights, the plaintiff sued the Police, the Inspector-General of Police, the Commissioner of Police, FCT Command; as well as the Attorney-General of the Federation.
Jibrin asked the court to stop the respondents from violating his rights in the course of investigation of the alleged budget padding.
However, Justice Abang, who is a vacation Judge, refused to hear the suit on Wednesday because the plaintiff failed to obtain the court’s leave to have his cases heard during the ongoing vacation.
A plaintiff who files a suit during the court’s vacation is expected to file an ex parte motion to prove to the Judge that his or her suit is a matter of urgency which its hearing should not be delayed.
In a short ruling, Justice Abang said that “A matter filed during court vacation is not heard as a matter of cause.
“The applicant is expected to apply and obtain the leave of court to have his matter heard during the court vacation in line with the provisions of Order 46 Rule 5 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2009. I so hold.
“This applicant did not do so. I do not have jurisdiction to even grant an adjournment of this suit.
“It is expected that the applicant will do the needful to comply with the provisions of the rules of this court.”
Dogara’s lawyer, Abdulhamid Mohammed, had earlier asked the court to hear him out on the two cases which were both listed for hearing, but the Judge turned down the request on the grounds of the counsel’s failure to comply with the court’s rules.

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