…Court rul­ing strange, black mar­ket or­der – APC Reps

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Musa Ab­dul­lahi Kr­ishi & Ibrahim Kabiru Sule

Mi­nor­ity Leader in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, Mr Femi Gba­jabi­amila, has re­jected the Abuja Federal High Court rul­ing yes­ter­day that asked 37 law­mak­ers to va­cate their seats for de­fect­ing from the PDP to the APC .

He said the de­ci­sion was a strange judg­ment that turned law on its head.

Also, some of the af­fected law­mak­ers said the rul­ing was a “black mar­ket” or­der ob­tained to favour the PDP.

The law­mak­ers said the judge­ment would ridicule the ju­di­ciary, say­ing the judge “erred” in giv­ing the or­der.

Gba­jabi­amila said in a state­ment that “the judg­ment is a prod­uct of er­ror of court,” adding that the law­mak­ers would be will­ing to ap­peal at a higher court.

“The judge­ment is strange and will be ap­pealed. No per­son can be com­pelled by law to stay in an as­so­ci­a­tion against his or her wishes,” he said.

Gba­jabi­amila also said that the judg­ment is an af­front to right of as­so­ci­a­tion of the law­mak­ers.

“Sec­tion 68 was never ar­gued in court by any of the par­ties. The judge gave an opin­ion he was never asked to give and an ar­gu­ment that was never can­vassed be­fore him,” he said. “It negates a fun­da­men­tal right of as­so­ci­a­tion of ev­ery cit­i­zen that is in­alien­able.

Sec­tion 68 of the con­sti­tu­tion has been turned on its head and the er­ror of the court is man­i­fest.” One of the af­fected law­mak­ers, Rep Ali Ahmed from Kwara State, told Daily Trust that the judge­ment could not with­stand an ap­peal, say­ing if such continues, there would be “more tur­bu­lence in the ju­di­ciary.”

“As a party to the mat­ter, I may be par­ti­san. But I am sure ev­ery Nige­rian must be alarmed at this judge­ment. Of course it can­not with­stand an ap­peal, but the is­sue is if trial courts con­tinue to be­have this way, I hope we should be pre­pared for more tur­bu­lence in the ju­di­ciary,” he said.

An­other af­fected law­maker, Rep Aliyu Sani Madaki (APC, Kano) told Daily Trust yes­ter­day that the judge­ment was de­liv­ered in bad taste to ridicule the ju­di­ciary.

“It’s a black mar­ket judge­ment that can­not ob­tain any­where. It will surely ridicule the Nige­rian ju­di­ciary. You can’t have such a rul­ing when an­other court said last Fri­day that the PDP doesn’t have any­thing to do on the mat­ter.

“Be­sides, the judge went out­side the prayers con­tained in the orig­i­nal suit, which shows that it is purely a black mar­ket or­der to favour PDP…. We will ap­peal it,” he said.

Sim­i­larly, coun­sel to the 37 law­mak­ers, Mah­mud Abubakar Ma­gaji (SAN) told our re­porter on phone last night that the judge “dab­bled into an­other mat­ter that was never sought in the suit.”

He said, “We have 30 days to ap­peal, but we’ll do that within this week. The judge erred. In fact, it was af­ter he gave the rul­ing that was never sought for that he re­al­ized what he did and quickly turned to say that the law­mak­ers could not ef­fect any lead­er­ship change in the House, which was the prayer of the suit.”

How­ever, deputy ma­jor­ity leader of the House, Mr Leo Ogor, said the 37 law­mak­ers should not “waste their re­sources on ap­peal” as they have al­ready lost the mat­ter.

“The seats they oc­cupy be­long to PDP. It is not an in­di­vid­ual seat but that of the party. We were more than con­vinced that the court will do the right thing be­cause you do not need a rocket sci­en­tist to in­ter­pret Sec­tion 68 of the con­sti­tu­tion,” Ogor said.

Jus­tice Adeniyi Ade­mola yes­ter­day told the de­fec­tors to hon­ourably va­cate their seats since they de­fected from PDP when their tenures had not ex­pired.

He was de­liv­er­ing judge­ment in the case filed by PDP in Jan­uary, ask­ing for an or­der to res­train the 37 law­mak­ers from ef­fect­ing any lead­er­ship change in the House.

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