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House leadership: PDP asks court to dismiss Reps' objections

By The Citizen
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The Peoples Democratic Party on Friday asked an Abuja Federal High Court to dismiss objections raised by members of the House of Representatives to a suit it filed in a bid to stop them from changing their principal officers.

In the suit, PDP had asked the court to restrain the defendants - the House of Representatives; Speaker, Aliyu Tambuwal; Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha; Majority Leader, Mulikat Akande-Adeola; Deputy Majority Leader, Leo Ogor; Chief Whip, Isiaka Bawa; Deputy Chief Whip, Ahmed Mutkar; Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila; Minority Whip, Samsom Osagie; Deputy Minority Leader, Sumaila Kawu; and Deputy Minority Whip, Graba Datti, and 42 other lawmakers, including those that defected to the All Progressives Congress - from changing or altering the leadership of the House.

The lawmakers had, in their preliminary objections, asked the court, presided over by Justice Adeniyi Ademola, to dismiss the suit.

However, at the continuation of hearing in the matter on Friday, PDP lawyer, Yunus Usman SAN, urged the court to discountenance the objections raised by the lawmakers.

Usman insisted that the court had the jurisdiction to entertain the suit, despite the argument of the lawmakers to the contrary.

The lawmakers had argued that the subject matter of the suit was an internal affair of a political party, and as a result, was not justice-able.

But Usman maintained that the court had the powers to determine the matter.

He also urged the court to dismiss the preliminary objections filed by the lawmakers 'as they constitute an abuse of court process.'

After listening to the submissions, Justice Ademola adjourned the case to February 21 for PDP to argue the substantive suit.