Breaking: Court dismisses application seeking continued suspension of senate sitting

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has dismissed an application seeking to stop the senate from compulsorily convening before September 25.

The upper chambers of the national assembly, led by Bukola Saraki, suspended plenary in July, shortly after Mr Saraki defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress to the People’s Democratic Party.

Mr Saraki’s defection worsened the rift between himself and the APC-led federal government, with the party calling for his resignation.

In separate applications, two senators loyal to Mr Saraki asked the court to stop attempts by members of the APC and the federal government to impeach Mr Saraki.

The respondents in the suits include the Senate, the Senate President, his deputy, the Senate Leader, his deputy, and the Minority Leader.

Others are: the Clerk of the Senate, the Deputy Senate Clerk, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Inspector General of Police and the State Security Service.

The applicants are Isa Misau, representing Bauchi Central and Rafiu Adebayo (Kwara South).

In one of the application, Mr Adebayo asked the court to determine whether the senate does not have the powers to determine its schedule of sittings as well as when to suspend or hold plenary.

The application regarding the prolonged detention was slated for hearing on September 13, during the last adjourned date.

At the opening of session on Thursday, a counsel to one of the defendants in the suit, Terhembe Abge, who represented the Attorney General of the Federation, asked the court to strike out the case and award a cost of N10 million against the applicants.

According to Mr Agbe, the applicants, “cannot drag the AGF to court and treat the matter with levity.”

Another lawyer Keje Oluwole aligned with the application by Mr Agbe and explained to the court that the applicants have a variety of lawyers and should therefore not have failed to appear in court, without any explanation.

The judge, Nnamdi Dimbga, initially hesitated to grant the application, since the applicants have always appeared in court, but obliged it, after further persuasion by the defendants.

“As a result of the unexplained absence of the applicants, the matter is hereby struck out,” Mr Dimbga ruled.

The judge had previously refused application by the same applicants to prevent other APC senators from proceeding with the planned suspension of Mr Saraki till the case is determined in court.

The ruling would be seen as victory for the ruling APC. -PREMIUM TIMES

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