Senate Presidency: Court Accelerates Hearing Of Suit Against Saraki’s Removal

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* Fixes September 6 for hearing
A Federal High Court in Abuja has asked parties to the suit, seeking to prevent the forceful removal of Bukola Saraki as Senate President, to exercise restraint pending the determination of the suit.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba gave the advice on Tuesday after listening to argument by lawyer to the plaintiffs, Emeka Etiaba (SAN), who argued an ex-parte application for, among others, orders restraining the defendants from unlawfully impeaching Saraki.
Justice Dimgba queried the rationale behind the plaintiffs’ prayers for an orders stopping Saraki’s unlawful removal, wondering how the court could be asked to restrain the defendants from unlawfully removing the Senate President? He said: “If it is unlawful, it is unlawful.”
Etiaba made effort to justify the prayers as contained in reliefs 1, 2 and 3 of the ex-parte motion. He also informed the court about an alternative prayer if the court was not favourably disposed to granting reliefs 1, 2 and 3.
He said: “Our alternative prayer is for the court to make preservatory orders in order to protect the res (subject) of the suit pending its determination.
Ruling, Justice Dimgba said: “In respect of reliefs 1, 2, and 3, which are orders of interim injunction, I believe the proper order to make is an order of accelerated hearing of the suit so that the court can consider and determine the merits of the substantive case definitively and expeditiously
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“Even though reliefs 1, 2, and 3 are not granted, needless to say that parties are enjoined to respect the authority of the court and the integrity of the judicial process, and should not take steps that will render nugatory the outcome of this litigation.
“In the light of the order of accelerated hearing on the merit of the case, the matter is hereby adjourned to the 6th of September 2018 for hearing,” the judge said.
The plaintiffs – Senators Rabiu Adebayo (Kwara South) andIsa Misau (Bauchi Central) are, in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/843/2018 seeking among others, to prevent Saraki’s removal through means other than that provided under Section 50(2)(c ) of the Constitution.
Section 50(2) provides: “The President or Deputy President of the Senate or the Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives shall vacate his office…. (c)if he is removed from office by a resolution of the Senate or of the House of Representatives, as the case may be, by the votes of not less than two-thirds majority of the members of that House.”
Listed as defendants in the suit are: 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).