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Defection ruling: Tambuwal, deputy drag PDP to Appeal Court

Source: pointblanknews.com
Speaker of the House of Representatives,
Aminu Tambuwal, his deputy, Emeka
Ihedioha and 37 lawmakers that defected
from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
to the All Progressives Congress (APC)
have filed an appeal against the
judgement of Justice Adeniyi Ademola of
the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Justice Ademola had on Monday in a
ruling on suit FHC/ABJ/CS/4/14 filed by
the leadership of the ruling PDP, granted
a perpetual injunction, restraining the
Lower Chamber lawmakers from effecting
leadership change.
The trial Judge also held that the 37
lawmakers that defected from the PDP to
the All Progressives Congress (APC)
should seize from participating in debates
and motions in the House.
The leadership of PDP had approached the
court to restrain members of the House of
Reps from effecting leadership change,
following defection of 37 PDP members to
APC that then conferred on the APC,
majority status.
But, the appellants – Tambuwal, Ihedioha
and 37 lawmakers, through their counsel,
Mahmud Magaji (SAN), faulted Justice
Ademola's ruling and urged the Court of
Appeal sitting in Abuja to set aside the
judgment.
They described the judgment as “perverse,
not supported by the reliefs sought by the
plaintiff.”, raised seven grounds of appeal,
saying more could be added.
Also, the appellants argued that the
judgment “is against the weight of
evidence.”, noting that Justice Ademola,
erred “when he granted the reliefs sought
by the plaintiff and “went further to hold
that the 1st to 39th respondents ought to
have resigned their seats as members of
the 1st appellant.
The appellants further argued that the
Judge erred when he held that the reliefs
of the 1st respondent (PDP) were
justiceable and proceeded to  grant the
reliefs sought without considering the
provision of Section 30 of the Legislative
Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act Cap
L12 Law of the Federation of Nigeria
2004.
The section quoted provides that “neither
the President nor the Speaker as the case
may be, of a legislative house shall be
subjected to the jurisdiction of any court
in respect of the exercise of any power
conferred on or vested in him by or under
this Act or the standing orders of the
Constitution.”
Therefore, they are of the view that trial
judge wrongly assumed jurisdiction over
the suit, bothering on the internal affairs
of the House of Representatives, which is
protected under Section 60 of the
Constitution.
The appellants referred to suit number
FHC/ABJ/CS/621/2013 between Senator
Bello Hayato Gwazo  and 79 others vs
Alhaji Bamaga Tukur and 4 others  and
argued that the parties and reliefs sought
were similar with that on which the judge
gave judgment.
In the same vein, they contended that the
PDP lack the locus standi to institute the
case as the reliefs sought were not
supported by any legal evidence and that
the judge ignored the Supreme Court's
decision in the case of Fawehinmi vs
Akilu (1987) 12 SC 136, Amaechi vs INEC
(2008)1 LRECN 1.

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