Group Petitions Buhari, CJN Onnoghen Over Delayed Hearing Of Suit On Jibrin’s Suspension
A Civil Society Group, Center for Citizens Right And Awareness, has petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari, Chief Justice of Nigeria Walter Onnoghen, and other senior judicial officers over the allegation that Hon. Justice Tsoho of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has been allegedly influenced not to hear a pending suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/812/2016 between Hon Abdulmumin Jibrin and the Speaker, House Of Representatives and others.
Hon Abdulmumin Jibrin, member representing Kiru/Bebeji Federal Constituency of Kano State in the House of Representatives was “unconstitutionally” suspended for 180 legislative days on the 28th day of September 2016 by the leadership of the House for exposing corruption in the budgeting system of the Country.
The suspended member challenged the suspension with an originating summons before the Federal High Court on the 4th day of October 2016 but till date the case is yet to be heard by the presiding judge.
In the petition signed by Prof Benedict Eluma, the group alleged that “the Leadership of the House of Representatives have devised all manners of embarrassing legal technicalities to ensure that justice is delayed in this case.”
The petition partly reads:
“This case which should have been dispensed with before the said 180 legislative days expired is still pending before the trial court, while the member have served out the 180 days suspension thereby placing him and his constituency in a very difficult position as this case may not be determined before the expiration of this current legislative term in 2019.
“The Judiciary apart from being the last hope of the common man, has a constitutional duty to checkmate the excesses of other arms of government. Unfortunately in this case, which is of great national significance, the House of Representatives seems to have been dictating the pace for the judiciary as they have successfully used all manner of delay tactics to frustrate this case including introduction of meddlesome interlopers whom they introduced as parties interested in this case and when they were denied joinder in this case they appealed and the substantive suit had to be adjourned for about eight months to enable them appeal the said ruling in appeal no:- CA/A/302/2017. The said appeal was dismissed on the 7th day of November 2017 and they have indicated interest to appeal to the Supreme Court.
“We are concerned that unless the the Chief Justice of Nigeria, President Court of Appeal, and Chief Judge of Federal High Court intervene in this case and direct that it should be expeditiously determined, Hon Abdulmumin Jibrin and his constituents may never return back to the House of Representatives before the end of this legislative term in 2019.
“We call on you to use your good offices and direct that this case should be giving its utmost priority by the trial judge considering its National Significance and the fact that the tenure in the House of Representatives is time bound, his Constituency having been denied representation and contribution to national debates in the House of Representatives for over one year six months and still counting, it is extremely urgent that this case of which all parties have exchanged briefs and was ready for adoption since April 2017 when the case was adjourned sine die should be placed on a priority list by the trial Judge and dispensed immediately in the interest of justice and fair hearing.
“Kindly consider the issues we have raised in this letter and in the interest of urgent national importance direct the trial court to act speedily in this case.”