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House Brawl: Court Turns Down Legislators' Effort To Lift Suspension

Source: EWACHE AJEFU, ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF    - thewillnigeria.com

ABUJA, Sept 04, (THEWILL) - Request by the Dino Melaye group of suspended lawmakers to the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to lift their suspension was today turned down. They were suspended on June 22, 2010 by the House leadership after the well publicized brawl in the House of Representatives.

Justice Adamu Bello, who ruled on the application brought by the suspended lawmakers held that it lacked in merit, stressing that the court could not overturn the suspension of the group of lawmakers at this stage because the act had already been completed.      

Bello also posited that since the Speaker and Clerk of the House who are defendants in the case have challenged the authority of the court, the court could not make any obligatory order until the issue was wholly determined. 

Justice Bello insisted that it was outside the law for the substantive issue to be determined at an interlocutory stage and dismissed the motion argued by Mr. Femi Falana, the plaintiffs’ counsel, and fixed hearing till October 4, 2010.

The Judge ordered all those connected in the suit to as a matter of urgency file and exchange their brief of arguments and be ready for adoption on the adjourned date.

However, out of the 11 suspended legislators only seven who took court actions would be affected by Justice Bello’s decision, as the rest have resolved to settle out of court with the House.              

Honourables Dino Melaye, Independence Ogunewe, Austin Nwachukwu, Solomon Ahwinahwi, Bitrus Kazesh, Abba Anas Adamu, Doris Uboh amongst others were suspended on June 22 for various offences in the house including bringing the House to disrepute.

Melaye and six other members had approached Justice Bello to prevail on the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole from further barring them from performing their lawmaking duties.