Kogi govt sues NASS, AGF over Assembly takeover
The Kogi State Government has sued the National Assembly and the Attorney General of the Federation at the Supreme Court, asking for an order nullifying the House of Representatives resolution to take over the legislative functions of the state's House of Assembly.
The House of Representatives had, on March 9, 2016, passed a resolution to take over the legislative functions of the Kogi State House of Assembly.
The House passed the resolution following the crisis that broke out as a result of the tussle for the speakership of the House between two factions of the Assembly.
In the said resolution, the Reps directed the Inspector-General of Police to seal off the House of Assembly until the crisis was resolved.
But the Kogi State Government, represented by the state's Attorney General and the House of Assembly, filed its suit on April 29, 2016, before the Supreme Court to challenge the House of Representatives resolution.
The National Assembly and the AGF are the two defendants in the suit.
The plaintiffs in the suit number SC.340/2016, filed under Order 3 Rule 5 of the Supreme Court Rules, asked the apex court to declare that the House resolution was passed in breach of Section 11(4) of the Constitution.
They also urged the apex court to nullify the resolution.
They contended in their statement of claim that 'the factional disagreement' between members of the House of Assembly was normal in a democracy.
According to them, the crisis started on February 16, 2016, following a disagreement between two factions in the House of Assembly on the position of the Speaker of the Assembly.
They claimed that following the disagreement, a faction of the members of the House of Assembly filed the suit, FHC/LKJ/CS/16/16 (Kogi State House of Assembly & 3 Ors V National Assembly& 2 Ors.
They said while the suit was pending, the House of Representatives invoked its power under Section 11(4) of the Constitution to take over the functions of the House of Assembly.
The plaintiffs said the House of Representatives declared the impeachment proceedings embarked upon by five members of the House of Assembly for the removal of the Speaker, as clearly violating Section 92(c) of the Constitution.
But the plaintiffs claimed that the said 'disagreement' between the factions in the House of Assembly did not create any 'adverse security situation' in the state.
Their statement of claim, accompanying the suit, added, 'There is no security report by the Governor of Kogi State, the police or any security agency in Nigeria that the disagreement among members of the Kogi State House of Assembly caused insecurity and danger to public safety in the state.
'At all times material to the passage of the resolution of the National Assembly to take over the Kogi State House of Assembly, Kogi State was and is calm and peaceful as citizens go about their lawful business.'
The plaintiffs therefore sought the following two prayers, 'A declaration that the resolution of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, March 9, 2016, which purportedly took over the legislative functions of the Kogi State House of Assembly, is passed in breach of Section 11(4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).'