By Peter Duru
Makurdi—A Makurdi High Court presided over by Justice Theresa Igoche, yesterday, dismissed the preliminary objection raised by the impeached Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Mr. Terkimbi Ikyange, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit stopping him and two other former principal officers of the House from parading themselves as leaders of the House.
The new Speaker, Titus Uba, and 21 other Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, lawmakers in the 30-member House had approached the court to bar Mr. Ikyange and the two others from assuming their former status after their impeachment in July.
At the commencement of hearing on the matter last month counsel to the trio, Mamman Osuman, had brought before the court a motion of preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter on the ground that Federal Government agencies were joined in the suit.
In a ruling that lasted over two hours, the Justice Igoche held that the mere mention of the Nigeria Police and other Federal Government agencies did rob the court of her jurisdiction, maintaining that the reliefs sought against government agencies were auxiliary.
On the second ground of the preliminary objection, the judge held that there was reasonable cause of action to warrant the said suit and consequently dismissed the preliminary objection in whole.
The court, thereafter, fixed September 11 for ruling on an interlocutory injunction moved by the respondents’ counsel, Sebastian Hon, in the same suit.