16 Dec 2014

Judge refuses lawmaker's application to remove Tambuwal as Speaker of House of Representatives

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday rejected an ex-parte application seeking to restrain Mr. Aminu Tambuwal from further acting as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The applicant, a member of the House House of Representatives, Mr. Abiodun Akinlade, had asked the court to stop Tambuwal from parading himself as the Speaker, pending the determination of his suit challenging his continued stay in office.

Instead of granting the exparte application, Justice Ahmed Mohammed ordered the plaintiff to put Tambuwal and other defendants in the suit on notice.

The judge ruled that it would be "most unfair" to grant a restraining order sought through an ex-parte application against Tambuwal who had engaged lawyers to defend him in the suit.

The plaintiff is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party representing Yewa South/Ipokia Federal Constituency of Ogun State in the House of Representatives.

He is seeking a “judicial interpretation” of an earlier judgment of the court delivered by Justice Evoh Chukwu of the same Federal High Court in Abuja, where the court held that there was nobdivision within the PDP.

Relying on that judgment, the plaintiff sought to prove that the defection of Tambuwal from the PDP to the APC on October 28 was “illegal” and in breach of Section 68(1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

The plaintiff joined Tambuwal, the House of Representatives and the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Akinlade's suit was initially assigned to Justice Evoh Chukwu.

But the judge on December 2, 2014,withdrew from the suit following a petition written against him by Tambuwal asking the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, to re-assgin the case to another judge.

In the petition. Tambuwal had expressed fear that Justice Chukwu‎ was likely to be bias against him (Tambuwal) in view of the judge’s previous pronouncement in a related case.

When the matter came up for the first time on Monday before Justice Mohammed to whom the case was re-assigned, the plaintiff, through his counsel, Mr. Babs Akinwumi, moved his ex parte application.


Credit: Tobi Soniyi/ThisDay

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