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Court fixes May 9 to deliver judgment on Abdulmumin Jibrin’s violation of rights suit

The Federal High Court, Abuja, fixed May 9 to deliver judgment in the suit filed by Rep. Abdulmumin Jibrin, former Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation , on violation of fundamental rights.

Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin

Justice John Tsoho fixed the date on Wednesday after listening to final addresses by counsel.

Jibrin had in 2016, following his suspension from the house, filed a suit against the leadership of the house demanding one billion Naira as punitive and general damages.

At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, Mr Kalu Onuoha, counsel to Speaker, House of Representatives, asked the court to strike out the suit on the grounds that it was incompetent.

Onuoha further argued that the suit had become an academic exercise since the leadership of the house had lifted the suspension placed on Jubrin.

Mr Femi Falana (SAN), however, argued that his client only resumed sitting because the 180-day illegal suspension slammed on him had elapsed.

According to Falana, his resumption of duty has in no way legalised what was clearly an illegal suspension.

He maintained that the matter before the court was still alive and not an academic exercise hence his client had not withdraw the action.

Falana said that his client was however, withdrawing the claim for damages so that reconciliation could be properly actualised.

He further noted that the Court of Appeal had in its ruling on a similar matter, held that a legislator could not be suspended.

“The Appeal Court said this is because to do so would be to deny the constituency represented by such a lawmaker.”

The lawyer also brought to the court’s attention the fact that while the suit was pending, another court annulled the suspension of a lawmaker, Sen. Mohammed Ndume, former Senate Leader, who was suspended by the Senate.

Justice Tsoho fixed May 9 to deliver judgment on the matter.

Jubrin was suspended following allegations he made against the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, his Deputy, Yussuf Lasun; Chief Whip, Ado Doguwa; Minority Leader, Leo Ogor; and nine other members.

He accused them of padding the 2016 budget.

Jibrin then dragged the house to court and urged the court to declare his suspension as a violation of his fundamental human right to freedom of expression.

He, among other reliefs, prayed the court to declare that the resolution passed by the house suspending him was in breach of Section 68 of the 1999 Constitution as amended. (NAN)


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