Impeachment Saga: Sen. Adebayo, Misau Drag Senate, AGF, IGP, DSS Others To Court

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…Seek Order Stopping Moves To Remove Saraki

Senator Rafiu Adebayo (Kwara South) and Senator Isa Misau (Bauchi Central) yesterday, dragged the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Inspector General of Police and the State Security Services to court in a bid to restrain them from aiding the forceful removal or impeachment of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, from office.

Cited as defendants in the matter were the Senate, the Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawal (Senate Leader), Senator Bala Ibn Nallah (Deputy Senate Leader), Senator Emma Buacha (Deputy Minority Leader), Clerk of the Senate, Deputy Clerk of the Senate, the Attorney General of the Federation, Inspector General of Police and the State Security Service, SSS.

The suit was filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/872/2018, was brought pursuant to Order 26 Rules 1, 2, and 7(1) of Federal High Court (Civil Proceedure) Rules 2009, and Section 6(6)(8)(b) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

In a motion on notice filed by Mahmoud Magaji SAN, the plaintiffs are praying for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the 4th to 11th defendants, jointly and severally either by themselves, their agents, servants or privies, assigns however so called from unlawfully removing the 2nd defendant as the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

The plaintiffs are also seeking for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the 9th to 10th defendants from unlawfully interfering with the lawful legislative duties of the 2nd defendant as the President of the Senate of the Federal Repubtic of Nigeria, until the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

“An order of interlocutory injunction restraining the 10th to 11th defendants from harassing, hounding intimidating, arresting or detaining the 2nd defendant in respect of the lawful exercise of his duties pursuant to Section 50(1)(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as attended), until the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

Also , the plaintiffs want the court to make an order directing the parties in the suit to maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

In the substantive suit, the plaintiffs want the court to determine among others: “Whether in view of the provisions of Section 50(1)(a) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the I999, the President of the Senate who defected to another party as a result of division in his former party, can be made to vacate his office other than in accordance with the provisions of Section 50(2) of the Constitution?

“Whether by a combined reading of Section 50(1)(a) and (2) of the Constitution and Order 3 Rule 8 of the Senate Standing Orders, 2015 (as amended), the President of the Senate can be compelled to vacate his office on the ground that he is not a member of the party with majority ot senators in the Senate?

“Whether by a combined reading of Section 50(2)(a) of the Constitution and Order 3, Rule 8 of the Senate Standing Orders, 2015 (as amended) the President of the Senate can be said to have vacated his office by virtue of Section 50(2)(a) of the Constitution when he has not ceased to be a member of the Senate?

“Whether the President of the Senate can be said to have vacated his office as President at the Senate by virtue of Section 50(2)(b) of the Constitution when the 8th Senate of which he is the President has not been dissolved?
Upon the determination of the questions, the plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that the President of the Senate cannot be made to vacate his office other than in accordance with the provisions of Section 50(2) of the Constitution.

“A declaration that Saraki cannot be compelled to vacate his office on the ground that he is not a member of the party with majority of Senators in the Senate.

“A declaration that cannot be said to have vacated his office by virtue of Section 50(2)(a) of the Constitutlon when he has not ceased to be a member of the Senate.

“A declaration that the President of the Senate cannot be said to have vacated his office as President of the Senate by virtue of Section 50(2)(b) of the Constitution when the 8th Senate of which he is the President has not been dissolved.

“A declaration that the President of the Senate cannot be said to have vacated his office by virtue of Section 50(2)(c) of the Constitution when he has not been removed from office by the votes of not less than two third majority of the members of the Senate.

In addition, they want a declaration that in view of Section 50(2)(c) and 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.

Further more, the plaintiffs want the court to declare that by a combined reading of Sections 5 and 150(1) of the Constitution, any of the 8th to 10th and 11th defendants or their privies, agents, servants in whatsoever name so called cannot validly enforce any act of the 1st, 3rd to 8th defendants, whether jointly or severally, removing the 2nd defendant from office without such act being in compliance with Section 50(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

By the suit, the plaintiffs therefore want an order of court restraining the 9th, 10th and 11th defendants, either by themselves, agents, servants, privies by whatsoever name so called from enforcing any act of the 1st, 3rd to 8th defendants purporting to have removed the 2nd defendant from office without such act being in compliance with the provisions of Sections 50(2) of the Constitution of the Fedora! Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

An affidavit deposed to by Senator Isah Misau in support of the originating summon, averred that the agents of the 10th and 11th defendants have taken steps to flagrantly breach the provision of Section 50(i)and 2 of the Constitution by employing their agents and privies to disrupt the plenary of the 1st defendant without recourse to the provision to Section 50(2)(c) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

Misau stated that the constitutional provision of removal of the President of Senate as contained in Section 50(2)(c) of the Constitution does not empower the 9th, 10thand 11th sefendant: to unlawfully interfere with the legistative duties of the 1st defendant by causing blockade at the premises of the National Assembly Complex or using their agents to disrupt the lawful duties of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The deponent posited that the court is statutorily empowered under Section 6(6)(b) of the Constitution to prevent the usurpation of the powers of the 1st defendant by granting the interlocutory reliefs pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

He stated further that on the 6th of August, 2018, the agents of the 9th and 11th defendants blocked the major entrants leading to the National Assembly Complex and thereafter directed their agent not to allow the Senators, House of Representative Members as well as the staff of the National Assembly to access the National Assembly complex.

“That the essence of that blockade was to pave the way to few members of the Senate to sit and impeach the Senate President without recourse to the provisions of Section 50(2)(c) of the Constitution.

Misau contended that the court is statutory empowered to intervene and curtail the excesses of the acts of the defendants which are in flagrant violation of Section 50(2)(c) of the Constitution.

No date has been fixed for hearing of the matter


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