February 10, 2015

Lawyers ask court to restrain Tambuwal from parading self as speaker

Lawyers ask court to restrain Tambuwal from parading self as speaker

Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto

By Innocent Anaba

LAGOS—Two lawyers have asked a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, to restrain the Speaker of House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, from further parading himself as speaker.



Anthony Nwajiugo and Okechukwu Ebirim, plaintiffs in the suit are contending that having defected from the party upon which he was elected into the House, Tambuwal “cannot remain and has, by his action, lost the competence to remain the Speaker.”

According to them, the House of Representatives as presently constituted under Tambuwal’s leadership cannot embark on any legislative business, including the adjournment of plenary sessions or the impeachment of the president.

Tambuwal had defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to All Progressives Congress, APC, blaming his defection on the crisis within the PDP in his home state of Sokoto.

At the resumed hearing in the matter before Justice Ibrahim Buba, the judge directed the applicants to address him on why the matter was filed in Lagos and not Abuja, being the place of business of the sole defendant in the suit, the House of Representatives.

Ebirim, who addressed the court, said the matter was a constitutional matter which could as well be filed in the Lagos division of the court.

He argued that the House of Representatives also conduct part of its business in Lagos at its liaison office, and that the court was a proper venue for the matter to be filed.

But in a brief ruling, Justice Buba transferred the matter to the Abuja division of the court, and further directed the applicants to approach the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta for further directive on when the matter would come up in Abuja.

The applicants in the suit, had set out two issues to be resolved by the court, “Whether by the combined effect of Sections 68 (1) (g) and 50 (2) (a) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), Tambuwal of Kebbe/Tambuwal federal constituency of Sokoto State is competent to remain the presiding officer and speaker of House of Representatives?

“Whether by the clear combined effect of the provision of Section 50 (1) (b) and Section 50 (2) (a) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) the House of Representatives is properly constituted with a competent and constitutional speaker as to enable it proceed on its regular legislative business?”