NASS Crisis: Lawan, Gemade, 5 others sued Saraki, Ekweremadu to court


Saraki-N-Lawan-702x336Barely four days to the resump­tion of legislative duties by the Senate, the crisis rocking the National Assembly deepened on Friday when seven Senators on Friday ap­proached a Federal High Court in Abuja asking for the nullification of the election of the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, the Deputy President of the Sen­ate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and other principal officers elected during the inau­guration of the 8th Senate on June 9, 2015.

The plaintiffs in the suit include Sen. Barn­abas Gemade; Sen. Abu Ibrahim; Sen. Ah­mad Ibrahim Lawan; Sen. George Akume; Sen. Kabir Marafa; Sen. Suleiman Hunkuyi; and Sen. Gbenga Ashafa.

The suit filed by Chief Anthony A. Adeniyi; Ibrahim Muhammed Sani; Adetunji Oso; I. K. Olarenwaju; Umar Abdulhameed; Rotimi Olorunfemi, Alabi Lawal; S. B. Oladeinde; K. Kokowei; and Kester Oyibo, is also asking the court to declare Standing Orders 2015 (as amended) as illegal, null and void.

They argue that since the conduct of par­liamentary businesses and proceedings since 9th June 2015, were based on the controver­sial Senate Standing Orders, the election of Saraki and Ekweremadu cannot stand.

In a swift reaction, majority of the Sen­ators under the banner of The Like Minds who spoke through their spokesperson, Dino Melaye described the attempt by Lawan and others as an effort in futility.

According to him, “the court is not for any particular set of people alone, it is for all of us. We shall meet there. To show you they are only wasting their time and trying to con­stitute a distraction to legislative duties, they were all in the Senate chamber when the votes and proceedings of the 9th of June that made Saraki the Senate President, were adopted by everyone. There was no single dissenting voice. They were all sworn in by the same person they are asking for the nullification of his election, does that mean they are say­ing that their own oath of office should also be nullified and they would not be senators again? Senator Marafa alone has addressed Saraki as Senate President on the floor of the Senate five times since after 9th of June.”

Nevertheless, the plaintiffs are asking the court for the following reliefs:

“A declaration that the Senate Standing Orders 2015 as amended is inoperative, void and lack of legislative competency for hav­ing not been made by due process of law in accordance with the provision of Section 60 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Ni­geria 1999(as amended) and Order 110 of the Standing Orders of the Senate 2007(as amended).

“A declaration that the Senate Standing Or­der 2015(as amended) is unconstitutional and ultra vires and the maker(s) for violating the provisions of Section 60 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999(as amended) as well as Order 110 Standing Or­der of the 2007(as amended) made pursuant to the said Section 60 of the Constitution.

“A declaration that the Standing Orders of the Senate 2007(as amended) is the extant Order of the Senate having not been altered and or amended in accordance with the due process of law.

“An order of court annulling and voiding all legislative business or businesses carried out by the 8th Senate predicated on the use of the said Senate Standing Orders 2015(as amended).

“An order of injunction restraining the de­fendants by themselves, agents, servants and privies from using the Senate Standing Or­ders 2015 and or refusing to use the Standing Orders of the Senate 2007(as amended).”

Besides, they also want the court to deter­mine five issues including the determination of the fact that the Senate Standing Orders 2015 was “strange, manipulated and illegal.”

  • Whether in the light of the provision of Section 60 Constitution of the Federal Re­public of Nigeria 1999(as amended) which donated power to the Senate to regulate its procedure, donates or confers on any other body or authority power to amend the Sen­ate Standing Orders 2007 the extant Standing Order (as amended) contrary to or in clear vi­olation of Order 110 Standing Order 2007(as amended).
  • Whether in the light of provision of Sec­tion 60, Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999(as amended) Senate Stand­ing Orders 2015 as amended which was and still being used by the 8th Senate is not inval­id for violating the provisions of Order 110 of the Standing Orders of the Senate 2007(as amended) made pursuant to the said Section 60 of the said Constitution of the Federal Re­public of Nigeria 1999(as amended).
  • Whether in the light of the combined effect of Section 60 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999(as amended) and Order 110 Standing Order of the Senate 2007(as amended) the Senate Standing Orders 2015(as amended) is not unconstitutional, unlawful, and ultra vires the maker or makers and consequently null and void.
  • Whether in light of all of the above, all parliamentary business of the 8th Senate predicated and conducted with the use of the Senate Standing Orders 2015(as amended) is not unlawful, illegal, ultra vires, null and void.
  • Whether all proceedings conducted with the use of the Standing Orders of the Senate 2015(as amended) are invalid and illegal having not been made pursuant to the Stand­ing Orders of the Senate 2007(as amended) which was in use by the 7th Senate and re­mained the extant Rules of the 8th Senate having not been amended.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the matter. -The Sun


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