Lawyer Withdraws Suit against NSIA, National Assembly, Others

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Dike Onwuamaeze

An Abuja-based lawyer, Johnmary Jideobi has withdrawn a suit filed before a Federal High Court against the President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representative, the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority and five others.

However, the presiding judge, Ahmed Muhammed, adjourned hearing in the suit to July 16, 2020, to give the plaintiff an opportunity to appear before the court to explain whether he wants the case struck out or dismissed and why he should not be sanctioned.

Jideobi, was challenging the legislative powers of the National Assembly to have enacted some sections in the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority Establishment Act 2011.

According to the lawyer, various provisions of the NSIA Act violated the provisions of sections 80 and 162 of the Nigerian Constitution which created the Federation Account/Consolidated Revenue Fund Account and provided that all revenues accruing to the federal government must be paid into them and shared by the tiers of governments.

But at the resumed hearing yesterday, the plaintiff and his counsel were nowhere to be found as he had filed a notice to discontinue the case, but the defendants were not served.

Owing to this, Counsel to NSIA, Adegboyega Awomolo, urged the court to dismiss the case with a cost of N1 million against the plaintiff.

Awomolo added: “When we filed our defenses and our objections, I believe he was scared. So, he quickly filed a notice of discontinuance. And I said my client (the NSIA) has spent so much money to preserve the authority. So, for him to have run away, I am asking for millions of naira as cost.”

Also, Counsel to the Senate President, Udo Udoma, said: “You can’t put a machinery in motion and sit at home, it is disrespect to the court. For you to file a case and refuse to come to court, is a disrespect to the court.”