20180829

Saraki's Removal Through Illegal Means Will Not Be Allowed - Federal High Court

The Federal High Court, in Abuja, on Tuesday gave a warning saying it will not allow any unlawful move to remove Senate President Bukola Saraki from office.
The court warned that the status quo must stand,
pending the determination of a suit filed by some senators in that regards.

Recalled that Senator Rafiu Adebayo (Kwara South) and Senator Isa Misau (Bauchi Central) had 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 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.

When the matter came up, plaintiffs’ counsel Emeka Etiaba (SAN) informed the court that he had a motion exparte dated August 27, 2018, and filed same day.

Etiaba said the exparte motion basically sought an order of interim injunction (in reliefs 1, 2, and 3), restraining the defendants from taking any untoward action or move to forcefully remove or impeach the Senate President from office and reliefs 4 and 5 prayed the court for an order of substituted service of court processes on the defendants.

Etiaba told the court that, in the event, the court was constrained to grant reliefs 1, 2, and 3, “Our alternative prayer is for the court to make preservatory orders in order to protect the res (subject matter) of the suit.

In a short ruling, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba held that, 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 expeditiously.

“Even though reliefs 1, 2, and 3, are not granted, needless to say, parties have been enjoined to respect the authority of the court and the integrity of the judicial process and should not take steps that will render the matter nugatory.”

The court granted reliefs 4 and 5, and directed substituted service of court processes, the originating summons and motion for injunction on the 1st to 8th defendants through the clerk of the National Assembly and also ordered substituted service on the 10th to 12th defendants by courier service.

The court adjourned till September 6, 2018, for accelerated hearing of the originating summon.