A Federal High Court in Abuja will on December 16 hear two applications seeking to stop further hearing in the suit filed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, to stop the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from removing him as speaker.
The people of Kebbe/Tambuwal Federal Constituency of Sokoto State, had applied to be made parties to the suit but the trial judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed refused their applications.
They were dissatisfied with the refusal of the court to join them and had consequently appealed to the Court of Appeal.
In the main, they asked the trial court to stop further hearing until their appeals were determined.
When the matter came up yesterday, Tambuwal’s counsel, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) told the Court that he had filed a counter affidavit to the application for stay of proceedings by parties seeking to be joined in the matter.
Counsel to persons seeking to be joined, Mr. Israel Olorundare (SAN) and that of the Sokoto State legislators, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) asked court for a short adjournment to enable them respond to the plaintiff’s counter affidavit.
The trial judge, Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed, having listened to the submissions of parties in the matter adjourned till December 16 to hear the application for stay of proceedings in the matter.
Tambuwal had filed the suit to stop the declaration of his seat vacant on the account of his defection from the PDP, the party which sponsored his election to the House.
At the preliminary stage, people from Tambuwal’s constituency applied to be parties to the suit.
Their applications for stay of proceedings were hinged on the grounds that they had filed notices of appeal against the ruling of the court which last Monday disallowed them from joining the suit as defendants.
The people of Kebbe/Tambuwal Federal Constituency have through the Chairman of Kebbe Local Government Area, Bala Konkani, and Chairman of Tambuwal Local Government Area, Sambo Modo, applied to join the suit.
Three members of the Sokoto State House of Assembly – Abdussamad Dasuki, Suleiman Hantsi, and Shuaibu Umar – representing Tambuwal East, Tambuwal West and Kebbe constituencies respectively also filed an application to join the suit.
The constituents are opposed to Tambuwal’s removal as Speaker and declaration of his seat vacant. They said that removing him would deprive them of representation in the House of Representatives.
But, Tambuwal had himself, through his lawyer, Fagbemi, opposed the constituents’ request to join the suit on the grounds that he (Tambuwal) did not seek any relief against them and as such they could not be accommodated as defendants in the suit.
In dismissing the applications, the court upheld Fagbemi’s contention and also held that their stance in the suit ran contrary to that of the existing co-defendants on record.
The Speaker had on November 27 filed an application, alleging that Abba’s instruction to officers of the police force to deny him access into the premises of the National Assembly, preventing him from carrying out his lawful duties on November 20, amounted to flouting the court’s order.
He added that Abba, in further disrespect of the order, on November 26, appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs and told the members that he would not recognise him (Tambuwal) as the Speaker.
“Everybody excepts Suleiman Abba, who is the Inspector General of Police, hto obey the order of this honourable court made on November 7, 2014,” his supporting affidavit had read in part.