Court orders parties in Kogi Assembly crisis to stay away from sitting
The Federal High Court, Abuja, has ordered parties involved in the Kogi State House of Assembly suit to stay away from sitting pending the determination of an application challenging the recent judgment.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba gave the order yesterday to enable the respondents file their response to the application.
Justice Dimgba had in a judgment delivered on May 19, reinstated the impeached Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Momoh Jimoh Lawal, his deputy, Aliyu Akuh and seven other principal officers of the Assembly purportedly impeached.
The judge hinged his ruling on the ground that the process leading to the purported impeachment on February 16 was faulty.
He further stated that their removal was contrary to the provisions of sections 90, 91, 92 (2) (c), 95 (1) & (2) and 96(1) & (2) of the 1999 constitution as amended.
The court had voided the purported election of Umar Imam as the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, as well as the emergence of four others including Friday Sani; Lawal A.T. Ahmed; Bello Abdullahi and John Abah as principal officers of the House.
The court also restrained the Inspector General of Police, Director General of the Department of State Service, Commandant of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps, who were equally defendants in the suit, “from further barricading the Assembly complex and preventing the plaintiffs from accessing the hallowed chambers of the Kogi State House of Assembly to conduct their legal and legitimate duties as legislators validly elected to represent their various constituencies.”
But not satisfied with the judgment, the defendants had taken the matter to the Appeal Court.
They further filed an application before Justice Dimgba, asking the court to set aside the judgment pending the determination of the appeal.
When the matter came up for hearing yesterday, counsel to the plaintiffs/respondents, Emeka Etiaba (SAN), told the court that they were served a further affidavit out of time, and insisted that they be given time to respond.
According to him, there were certain allegations contained in the affidavit that they have to disproof.
Etiaba, asking the court for an adjournment, also requested the court to grant an order, restraining parties from going back to the House of Assembly to sit.
Etiaba held that each time the court sits, the defendants still go back in total disregard of court and judgment of the court to sit, hence the need for the restraining order.
In his response, Justice Dimgba ordered parties in the suit to stay away from the Kogi State House of Assembly pending the hearing of the application or judgment of the court.
He also advised parties not to do anything that would undermine the judgment of the court or peace of the state, adding that the parties as representatives of the people must set good examples to those they represent.