Monday, 3 September 2018

AGF ASKS COURT TO HANDS OFF SUIT AGAINST SARAKI'S REMOVAL


The Federal Government has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to dismiss and or strike out the suit by two senators seeking to stop moves to impeach Senate President Bukola Saraki.


Senators Rafiu Adebayo (Kwara South) and Isa Misau (Bauchi Central) were seeking an interlocutory application restraining the Senate from impeaching Saraki following his defection from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The senators, who also decamped from the APC to the PDP, were also seeking to stop reconvening of the Senate without the notice of Saraki.

But the Federal Government, through a notice of preliminary objection to the suit filed last week by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), had asked the court to dismiss the suit for lack of jurisdiction.

The AGF argued that the senators had failed to show any wrong done to them or Saraki, adding that the police invitation to the Senate president for further investigation of an allegation could not create a cause of action in their favour.

“My lord, in determining whether the plaintiffs have the necessary capacity to institute the action, the claim must be examined to see if there is any enforceable right in connection with the plaintiffs,” he said.

At the last hearing, Emeka Etiaba (SAN) and Mahmud Magaji (SAN), representing the senators asked the court to make preservatory orders in order to protect the subject matter before the suit.

The senators wanted the court to hold that by Section 50(2)(c) of the 1999 Constitution, the fact that the members of the Senate are 109 in number, “any number less than 72 out of the 109 members of the Senate cannot validly sit and remove the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria whether by impeachment or whatever name so called.”

Those joined as defendants in the suit were: The Senate, the Senate president, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawal (Senate Leader), Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah (Deputy Senate Leader), Senator Emma Bwacha (Deputy Minority Leader), Clerk of the Senate, and Deputy Clerk of the Senate. The suit had been fixed for hearing on September 13.

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