Reinstated Reps Drag Bankole To Court Over Unpaid Salaries
ABUJA, Dec 22, (THEWILL) - Five members of the House of Representatives who were recently reinstated by an Abuja High Court have instituted a contempt charge against Speaker Dimeji Bankole and Clerk of House, Mohammed Sani Omo-lori for failure to pay their allowances and salaries.
The five members are Hon. Dino Melaye, Hon. Independence Ogunewe, Hon. Solomon Awhinawi, Hon. Bitrus Kaze and Hon. Abbas Anas Adamu.
The lawmakers filed the contempt charge on Wednesday after the House leadership allegedly refused to comply with the ruling of the court to pay all their outstanding allowances since June 2010 when they were suspended from the House.
In an affidavit sworn to on their behalf by Hon. Dino Melaye at the Federal High Court in Abuja, which nullified their suspension two weeks ago, the lawmakers urged the court to commit Speaker Dimeji Bankole and the Clerk of the House of Representatives to jail for refusing to not only pay them, but also refusing to return their offices to them.
They alleged that the Speaker and the Clerk had broken into their offices while they were away, removed their properties without their consent and have allocated the offices to other lawmakers.
The plaintiffs also reminded the court that Bankole and the House Clerk were forced by the court through the issuance of Form 48 before an initial order which returned them to the parliament was complied with by the House leadership.
In the Form 49 (Pursuant to Order IX Rules (13) of the Judgement and Enforcement Rules) issued by the Court following the application by Dino and his colleagues, the court affirmed that the Speaker and the Clerk of the House will be committed to prison if the order to pay the returnee lawmakers was not complied with before 12 of January 2011.
It reads in part: “Take Notice that the Plaintiffs/Applicants will on Wednesday the 12the Day of January 2011 at the Hour of 9’O’Clock in the forenoon apply to this Court for an order for the committal to prison of the 1st and 3rd Defendant/Contemnor for having disobeyed the judgement of this Honourable Court made on 2nd of December 2010, nullifying the suspension of the plaintiffs/Applicants as they have refused to pay the plaintiffs/Applicants their outstanding salaries and allowances accrued to them since the 22nd of June 2010 till date and for their refusal to return the Plaintiffs/Applicants Offices to them which the 1st Defendant/Contemnors illegally broke into and reallocated same to other legislators after Plaintiffs/Applicants were illegally suspended from the House of Representatives and Restrained from performing their legislative duties by the 1st and 3rd Defendants/Contemnors and for having neglected to obey the judgement of this Honourable Court made on the 2nd of December 2010.”