Defection: Court adjourns ruling in PDP, lawmakers’ suit

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A Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday adjourned ruling to Feb. 5 in a suit filed by 37 lawmakers who defected to the APC, seeking to stop the declaration their seats  vacant.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed fixed the date after counsel to the lawmakers, Mr Mahmoud Magaji (SAN) informed the court that he had yet to duly serve Speaker Aminu Tambuwal.

The lawmakers had asked for an interlocutory injunction seeking to stop Tambuwal, PDP and INEC from declaring their seats

vacant following their defection to the APC.

Magaji had prayed the court to grant an order for all parties in the suit to maintain the status quo pending the determination

of the substantive suit.

Counsel to the defendants, Joe Gadzama (SAN) also told the court that they were unable to effect hearing notice on the Speaker to enable the court to go on with the its proceedings.

Justice Mohammed then ordered that a court bailiff should effect the service within three days, and adjourned the case to Feb. 5 for ruling.

At the last adjourned date, Justice Mohammed had reserved ruling in the matter for Jan. 29 because the originating summons, filed by the plaintiffs’ counsel, was not ripe for hearing.

He had told parties that he would only hear the preliminary objection subject to whether the said originating summons would be ripe for hearing by the adjourned date.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some National Assembly members who defected to the opposition APC had gone to court seeking an order of court to stop the defendants from sacking them.

Joined in the suit as defendants are the PDP National Chairman, Senate President, Speaker House of Representatives, the People’s Democratic Party and the Independent National Electoral Commission.

However, Gadzama had challenged the court’s jurisdiction in entertaining the matter by way of a preliminary objection.

Gadzama had argued that the plaintiffs lacked the requisite legal standing to institute the suit, which, he said, was wrongly

commenced by way of an originating summons, instead of a writ of summons.

 

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