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Court Slates Sept 25 To Deliver Judgment In IGP’s Suit Against Senate

On Wednesday, a Federal High Court in Abuja slated September 25, 2018, to deliver judgment in a suit filed against the Senate and its President, Bukola Saraki by the Inspector General of Police (IGP).

The trial Judge, Justice John Tsoho fixed the date after listening to the submissions of the counsel to the IGP, Dr Alex Izinyon (SAN), who urged the court to grant the plaintiff’s prayers.

In the marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/554/2018, Idris is challenging the propriety of the resolution of the Senate, describing him as, “an enemy of democracy and unfit to hold any public office within and outside Nigeria.”

He is praying the court to, among other reliefs, to quash the Senate’s resolution on the grounds that it lacked the powers to so act.

At the commencement of proceedings, Izinyon told the court that his client has complied with it June 7 ruling of the court, which granted leave to commence the suit for judicial review and to serve processes, including the ruling of the respondents through the Clerk of the National Assembly.

He said, despite being served, the respondents have failed to file any process (document) in response to the suit.

After going through the court’s record, Justice Tsoho said it was true that the plaintiff complied with the order of the court made on June 7, and that the defendants did not file any response, which shows that they are not willing to defend the case.

The judge then granted the request by the plaintiff’s counsel to have the case decided on the processes filed by the plaintiff.

Izinyon consequently identified the processes filed by his client, adopted same and prayed the court to grant all the plaintiff’s reliefs.

The senior lawyer particularly, prayed the court to quash the purported gazette by the Senate, that declared the plaintiff unfit to hold public office within and outside the country.

Izinyon argued that the Senate, being a Legislative arm of the government, lacked the constitutional power to reach such conclusions and make such pronouncements.

The IGP, in a supporting affidavit, described the May 9 resolution of the Senate as “legislative judgment”, and further argued that the conduct of the respondents, in the proceedings leading to resolution, was borne out of the “hatred and undisguised contempt” they allegedly harbour against him.

The Police boss said the conduct of the Senate and its President, Saraki, during the “votes and proceedings” leading to the May 9, 2018 resolution “is palpable of bias, deep-rooted prejudice, visible hatred, and undisguised contempt of me”.

“That, I was informed by my lead counsel, Dr Alex A. Izinyon (SAN), in his office at No. 1 Kinshasa Street, Wuse Zone 6, Abuja on May 20, 2018, about 5:30 pm of the following facts which I verily believe to be true:

“That the respondents lack the competence and/or jurisdiction to impose a penal sanction on me under Section 88 and 89 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

“That the respondents act ultra vires its powers under the constitution by imposing on me penal sanction unknown to law contained in the said gazette dated 9th May 2018.

“That the conduct of the respondents throughout the votes and proceedings that led to the said resolution contained in the gazette dated May 9, 2018, is palpable of bias, deep-rooted prejudiced, visible hatred and undisguised contempt for me.

“That the said votes and proceedings leading to the resolution contained in the said gazette wherein sanction were imposed on me is a legislative judgment.

“That this court has the supervisory power to quash the said resolution contained in the gazette dated May 9, 2018”, he averred.

The IGP, in the originating summons, is praying the court for an order quashing the entire votes and proceedings, which led to the resolution contained in the gazette dated May 9, 2018.

He also prayed for the same order quashing the report of the Ad hoc Committee investigating the various allegations levelled against him, that led to the said resolution contained in the gazette dated May 9, 2018.

The IGP equally wants the court to make “An order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents (Saraki and the Senate)” whether by itself, or through its servants or agents “from acting on the said resolution contained in the gazette dated May 9, 2018 or causing same to be acted upon by any person or authority or government agency, or carrying out similar or like resolution against the applicant.”

He also seeks among others, “A declaration that the respondents (Saraki and the Senate) acted ultra vires its powers under section 88 and 89 of the Constitution in the votes and proceedings leading to the resolution contained in the gazette dated 9th May 2018 imposing a penal sanction on the applicant.

“A declaration that the respondents acted ultra vires its powers under the Constitution in initiating the votes and proceedings leading to the resolution contained in the gazette dated May 9, 2018, declaring the Applicant as an enemy of democracy and unf1t to hold any public office within and outside Nigeria.”

The suit in which Justice Tsoho reserved judgment on Wednesday, is one of two suits filed by the IGP against the Senate and its President.

The IGP is, in the second suit, scheduled for hearing on June 29, is challenging the propriety of the Senate’s insistence that he must appear, in person, before it in relation to the Senate’s purported probe of the ongoing trial of its member, Dino Melaye, on criminal charges.

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