Budget Padding: Jibrin Withdraws Suit on Suspension, Sues Dogara, Clerk, for N1bn 

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By Alex Enumah in Abuja
 

The embattled former Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin, friday withdrew the suit he filed against the House of Representatives and 13 other defendants challenging his suspension from the House of Representatives.

 The withdrawal was contained in an application for discontinuance of the matter filed through his lawyer, Chukwuma Nwachukwu and dated October 11, 2016

At the resumed hearing yesterday, Nwachukwu prayed the court to discontinue with the hearing of the case.

Counsel to the House of Representatives and 13 other defendants in the matter, Onuoha Kalu did not oppose the application of discontinuance but asked for a cost N200, 000.00 on the ground that the defendants had filed processes and had put in a lot in the matter.

 Consequently, trial Judge, Justice John Tsoho, in a short ruling struck out the matter but without awarding cost against the Plaintiff.

 Meanwhile, Jibrin has filed a fresh suit before a Federal High Court in Abuja, asking it to award the sum of N1 billion against the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and the Clerk of the House as punitive and general damages for his suspension from the floor of the House.

Recall that the House of Representatives had suspended Jibrin for 180 legislative days, for actions it considered to be unbecoming of a legislator in bringing the entire house to disrepute in the unfolding budget padding scandal. 

The decision of the house to suspend the lawmaker from Kano followed a motion by the Chairman House Committee on Ethics, Hon Nicholas Ossai. Jibrin had refused to appear before the Ethics committee investigating the matter, the committee based on this recommended for his suspension and was adopted by the whole House.

 Apart from the suspension, Jibrin will also not be able to hold any position of responsibility for the span of the current National Assembly.

 Jibrin, had on August 9, 2016 approached the court seeking an order to restrain the House of Representatives from any attempt to suspend him. 

The suit was filed before Justice Okon Abang during the court vacation period that lasted for about two months. 

However, upon resumption, the matter was re-assigned to Justice Tsoho and was fixed for mention yesterday.

 Jibrin’s counsel, Mr. Mohammed Abdulhamid had, at the last sitting on the matter, informed the judge that the House of Representatives had, by going ahead to suspend his client ‘overreached’ his motion filed before the court to seek an order restraining the House from carrying out the suspension.

 In the application for discontinuance of the suit earlier filed against the Speaker and 13 others, Jibrin’s lawyer informed the court that a fresh originating summons had been filed.

 Jibrin, in the new suit is asking the court to declare that his suspension was a violation of his fundamental human right to freedom of expression and also prayed the court to declare that the resolution passed by the House of Representatives suspending him was in breach of the provisions of Section 68 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

 He is also seeking an order of injunction restraining the House of Representatives from preventing him from participating in the Committees of the House or accessing the legislative chambers to perform his legislative duties.

 Hearing of the fresh suit filed by the embattled former Chairman, Appropriation Committee of the House of Representatives has been scheduled to commence on the twenty-second of November 22, 2016.