Kogi Assembly Crisis: N’Assembly Yet to Receive Notice of Court Process

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Damilola Oyedele in Abuja

The National Assembly is yet to be served with the notice of court process in the suit filed by the Kogi State Government at the Supreme Court, challenging the resolution of the House of Representatives to take over the state House of Assembly.

The House of Representatives, backed by the Senate had announced its take over of the state assembly following the protracted crises among the lawmakers resulting in their inability to hold proceedings.

Citing Section 11(4) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the House had directed the Inspector General of Police (IG) to seal the premises of the state assembly on March 9, 2016, but it had been unsealed following a counter directive from the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami. The House, last Wednesday, re-directed the IG to again seal the state assembly, immediately, pending the resolution of the crises which has resulted in the emergence of two Speakers.

The Kogi State Government, on April 29, 2016, under Order 3 Rule 5 of the Supreme Court, filed the suit, challenging the resolution. The National Assembly is listed as the first defendant in the suit, while the AGF is the second defendant.

In the suit with number SC.340/2016, the plaintiffs (Kogi State Attorney General, and the state House of Assembly) is asking the apex Court to declare the resolution of the National Assembly as a breach of Section 11 (4) as factional disagreement is normal in a democracy.

The plaintiffs also claimed that the disagreement in the state legislature, which hindered its sittings, did not create any adverse security situation in the state, echoing the argument put forward by Malami, when he directed the IG to unseal the premises.

THISDAY checks however revealed that neither the Senate nor the House has been served with any notice of court process.

The Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, said he was not aware of any service on the green chamber.
A bureaucrat in the legal department of the National Assembly who spoke off record also confirmed that there was no receipt of any court process on the matter.

“Nothing of such, whether from the Supreme Court or the High Court has been received here,” he said.