Gbajabiamila: Senate Erred by Approaching Supreme Court without Lower Chamber

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Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja

The Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, has faulted the Senate’s decision to approach the Supreme Court for the interpretation of federal government’s resolve to suspend the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen.

The Special Adviser to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said the Senate has gone to the Supreme Court for interpretation of the constitution to determine whether President Muhammadu Buhari usurped the powers of the Senate or not in suspending Justice Onnoghen.

Quoting from Section 20 Cap. 424 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, Gbajabiamila said the upper chamber of the National Assembly erred by approaching the apex court alone and without carrying the lower chamber along.

Already, Senators of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have said there was no time that the Senate met and took the decision to approach the Supreme Court for an interpretation of the suspension of the CJN.

He argued that the Senate does not have the legal capacity or locus to go it alone. By Supreme Court (Additional original jurisdiction) Act 2002, Gbajabiamila said “The National Assembly can only institute such an action after a resolution by both Houses to do so. I look forward to the court’s interpretation but first we must comply with the law. In the absence of such a resolution, the Supreme Court lacks jurisdiction.”