Court Orders Accelerated Hearing In Tambuwal’s Suit Against FG, Others

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, may have to stay without security aides until November 17, when a Federal High Court in Abuja will rule on his application seeking the restoration of his security details withdrawn by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Suleiman Abba.

Tanbuwal and his new party, All Progressives Congress (APC) had sued the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), its National Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu; Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, IGP, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) over attempt to declare his seat vacant and withdrawal of his security aides.

Tambuwal, in the suit filed through his counsel, Jubrin Okutepa (SAN), wants the court to declare that the attempt to declare his seat vacant as a member and Speaker of the House of Representatives following his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as unlawful and unconstitutional.

The Speaker also asked the court for an order stopping the House from reconvening earlier than adjourned date of December or pending the outcome of his motion.

When the matter came up on Friday, for the respondents to show cause why Tambuwal’s prayers should not be granted, the IGP and the AGF, fifth and seventh respondents in ths suit, in a notice of preliminary objection, asked the court to strike out/dismiss Tambuwal’s suit, adding that the fifth and seventh respondents acted lawfully in accordance with the 1999 constitution.

The two respondents, in their objection, also asked the court to order that Adamu Mu’azu’s name be struck out of the suit on the ground that he cannot be sued in his personal capacity.

The police boss and the AGF, through their counsel, Ade Okeaya-Inneh (SAN), undertook to maintain the status quo and to avoid any action that will undermine the proceedings of the court in the matter.

IGP and the AGF, in their counter affidavit to the plaintiffs’ originating summons, said Tambuwal’s seat at the House of Representatives became automatically vacant in October when he defected to APC.

“That having ceased to be a member of the Hosue of Representatives by his voluntary act, neither the fifth nor the seventh respondents had anything left to decalre vacant and did not so declare,” the affidavit said.

Similarly, the PDP and its chairman (first and second respondents), in their counter affidavit, averred that Tambuwal’s defection is not as a result of any divisiom in the PDP, nor as a result of a merger of some political parties or faction within the party.

PDP and its chairman prayed the court to strike out the suit in the interest of justice, adding that the respondents will be prejudiced if Tambuwal’s motion is granted.

The trial judge, Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed, ruled that the court would hear the issue of whether the court had the jurisdiction to entertain the matter and the substantive suit together and adjourned till November 17.

The judge also ordered an accelerated hearing of the matter on a weekly basis to dispemse with the matter expeditiously.

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