Symbol of justice
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
Ten serving lawmakers of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) have expressed dismay over last Friday’s ruling of the Federal High Court in Abuja which ordered them to quit the National Assembly.
The affected lawmakers are, Senators Sadiq Yar’Adua (Katsina central), Hadi A Sirika (Katsina North), Representatives Isa Lawal (Doro-Mani/ Bindawa), Sani Bello (Mashi- Mashi/ Dutsi), Abbas Machika (Kankara/ Faskari/ Sabuwa), Dr Mansur Abdulkadir (Funtua/ Dandume), Ahmed Usman Babba (Kankia/Kusada/ Ingawa), Salisu Salisco (Kaita/ Jibiya), Shiek Umar Abubakar (Katsina Central) and Salisu Ado Daura (Daura/ Maiaduwa/ Sandamu) constituencies
The aggrieved lawmakers led by their spokesman, Senator Hadi Sirika, addressed journalists in Abuja yesterday insisting that the trial judge erred in law by over-ruling the Supreme Court.
Sirika said the judgment of Justice Gladys Olotu was a direct confrontation with the judgment delivered by the Supreme Court, adding that it was tended to nullify the Supreme Court judgment.
He argued that the judge clearly did not have jurisdiction to entertain and subsequently over-ruling an earlier decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Garba Lado and Ors Vs CPC and Ors on 16 December, 2011 in suit no SC.157/2011.
“The question that comes to mind is whether the Federal High Court presided over by Justice Olotu is superior to the Supreme Court which had held that the plaintiffs (Senator Abdul Yandoma and others) were never candidates sponsored by the CPC,” he said.
CPC Sirika said he and his colleagues have instituted an appeal against the High Court ruling.
Justice Olotu sitting Olotu had given a judgment in a suit brought before it by Senator Abdu Yandoma and nine other former CPC members of the National Assembly challenging their replacement by the party.
In her ruling which was meant to interpret an earlier judgment of the Supreme Court on the case between Senator Garba Lado and others vs CPC given delivered on December 16, 2011, the trial Judge, Justice Olotu granted the prayers of the plaintiffs and ordered the leadership of the National Assembly and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw recognition on the affected lawmakers.
In what seemed like a rare twist of faith, the lawmakers who were disowned by their party, have now by last Friday’s court ruling become the authentic members of the National Assembly representing their constituencies.
The petitioners who were previously ousted from the National Assembly by the INEC’s interpretation of the Supreme Court judgment but who have now been re-instated through the Friday’s Federal High Court ruling include, Senators Abdul Yandoma, Ahmed Sani Stores, Musa Salisu, Aminu Ashiru, Murtala Isah, Muntari Dandutse, Umar K, Umar Dankama, Tasiu Doguru and Moh . Tukur.
While hailing the ruling the former National Publicity Secretary of CPC, Chief Dennis Aghanya, said the judiciary has finally done justice in the case.
He urged the INEC and the leadership of the National Assembly to obey the judgment and have the lawmakers sworn in without delay.
“This is a vindication of the Senator Rufai Hanga’s stance which was scuttled by some unscrupulous elements within the party with the connivance of INEC,” he said.