Court refuses to stop Saraki as Senate President

A Federal High Court in Abuja, on Tuesday, refused an application seeking to stop Senate President, Bukola Saraki, from performing his duties on account of use of the allegedly forged Senate Standing Rule for his June 9election in the Senate.

The plaintiffs, Senators Abu Ibrahi, Kabiru Garba Marafa, Robert Ajayi Boroffice, Bareehu Olugbenga Ashafa and Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi stormed the court with an ex-parte motion seeking to stop Saraki from constituting the Senate Standing Committees.

Ruling in the ex-parte motion filed and argued by Chief Mamman Mike Osuman (SAN) on behalf of the five senators, Justice Gabriel Kolawole held that there was nothing urgent in what the plaintiffs were asking for.

The judge said that the Senate Standing Order 2015 as amended upon which the plaintiffs predicated their ex-parte motion had been in existence since June 9 when the Senate President and his deputy were elected and as such, the issue of urgency raised by the five senators was self inflicted.

Justice Kolawole also said that by rushing to the court 24 hours to the resumption of the Senate plenary, the court will not indulge in granting a belated request because the issue of urgency in the case instituted against Saraki and five others had become belated.

He wondered why only five out of 109 senators would come to court to challenge the internal affairs of the Senate carried out on June 9 by the majority of the senators.

He added that the court was not created to supervise the internal affairs of the National Assembly but can only intervene if there is an infraction of the constitution in the conduct of its internal affairs.

He warned that even when the National Assembly has misapplied its own rules, the courts must be wary in intervening, it should even be more wary when the intervention is sought as an ex-parte.

According to the judge, the dispute that arouse on the outcome of the election that produced the Senate President and his deputy was an internal affairs of the Senate and that the court will hardly intervene in such internal affairs.

Justice Kolawole further said that the Senate Standing Order 2015 as amended being considered forged by the five plaintiffs had no substantial infraction on the 1999 Constitution to warrant court’s intervention.

“I find myself unable to exercise my discretion to grant the injunction being sought by the plaintiffs to stop the defendants from carrying out their constitutional legislative duties”, he said and refused the application.

He also ordered the plaintiffs to put the defendants, which include the Senate President, the Deputy Senate president, the Clerk of the National Assembly, the Clerk of the Senate and the Senate on notice.

He then adjourned hearing of the motion on notice till August 5, while the originating summons will be returned to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for re-assignment.

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