Law News
Court adjourns Tambuwal’s suit indefinitely
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal

A Federal High Court in Abuja has adjourned indefinitely a suit filed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, challenging planned moves to declare his seat vacant.

Tambuwal had also filed the suit seeking an order compelling the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba, and other security agencies to restore his security aides withdrawn from him after he defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed adjourned the suit indefinitely upon requests for a stay of proceedings by some parties who had gone to the Court of Appeal to challenge a previous ruling of the court in the suit.

The court had by its ruling, being challenged at the appellate court, disallowed the parties who are representing the people of Kebbe/Tambuwal Federal Constituency of Sokoto State, from joining the suit as co-defendants.

The two sets of applicants claimed to have shown interest in the suit on behalf of the people of Kebbe/Tambuwal Federal Constituency being represented by the Speaker at the House of Representatives.

One of the sets of applicants are chairmen of Kebbe and Tambuwal local governments in Sokoto State – Bala Konkani and Sambo Modo. The other comprises three members of the Sokoto State House of Assembly – Abdussamad Dasuki, Suleiman Hantsi, and Shuaibu Umar, representing Tambuwal East, Tambuwal West and Kebbe constituencies.

On November 28, Israel Olorundare (SAN), for the local government chairmen, and Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), for the state legislators, argued their respective   motions for joining the suit.

Justice Mohammed, in a ruling on December 1, refused the applications on the grounds that the interest they sought to protect had been effectively protected by the plaintiff himself.

He had also rejected the applications for joining the suit as co-defendants on the grounds that their interest to support the case of the plaintiff was in conflict with that of the already existing defendants in the suit.

The parties seeking to join had promptly filed separate appeals against the court’s ruling at the Court of Appeal in Abuja and then applied that to the trial court to stay proceedings.

On Tuesday, the court was to hear the applications for a stay of proceedings, when Olorundare informed the court that records of his appeal had been transmitted to the appellate court and that appeal number had been given.

He added that he had also filed an application before the Court of Appeal, seeking for a stay of proceedings before the lower court.

Other lawyers in the case, including Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), for the plaintiff, Yunus Ustaz (SAN), for the PDP and Ade Okeanya-Inneh (SAN), for the Attorney-General and Inspector-General of Police, agreed that the lower court must stay proceedings once it was aware that an appeal filed against its decision had been entered.

Ustaz however disagreed with others on whether or not the case should be adjourned indefinitely. He had wanted the court to adjourn the matter till a specific date.

In his ruling, Justice Mohammed agreed to adjourn the matter indefinitely.

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