A Federal High Court in Abuja has given permission to the People’s Democratic Party to apply for a mandatory order compelling either the Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives to declare vacant the Kebbe/Tambuwal seat being held by Aminu Tambuwal following his defection to the All Progressive Congress.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed, in an ex-parte ruling on Monday granted the PDP “leave to apply, by way of judicial review, for an order of mandamus compelling the Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives to give effect to the provisions of Section 68(1)(g) of the Constitution by declaring the Kebbe/Tambuwal federal Constituency seat vacant.”
The ruling was on one of two ex-parte motions filed by the PDP pursuant to order 34 Rule 3 of the Federal High Court (Civil procedure) Rules 2009. By the leave granted it, the PDP is now required to file a formal suit to achieve its aim.
Named as respondents in the motion marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/901/2014 are – Tambuwal and Emeka Ihedioha, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.
On Monday, PDP’s lawyer, Mike Ahamba (SAN), while moving the motion for leave to apply for an order of mandamus, said by its action, his client only wants whoever occupies the seat of the Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the House of Reps to perform his/her responsibility under the Constitution.
“Section 68(2) renders section 68(1) (g) non-self-operating. Where a person defects from his party, the person can defiantly stay in the House and maintain his seat until either the Speaker or the Senate President performs his responsibilities under Section 68(2).
“We are asking the Speaker to declare the seat of Kebbe/Tambuwal Constituency vacant following the defection of the 2nd respondent (Tambuwal),” Ahamba said.
He said the PDP will also apply for “an order of injunction restraining the 2nd defendant (Tambuwal) from performing or continuing to perform the functions of the 1st respondent in the House of Representatives, or sitting or continuing to sit in the House as a member consequent upon the order of mandamus.”
SOURCE: THE NATION