Law News
Forgery suit still in court —Pro-Lawan senators

The Senate Unity Forum on Wednesday dissociated itself from the purported withdrawal of a suit alleging that the Senate Standing Orders, used for the June 9 election of the President and Deputy President of the Senate, were forged.

Senators under the aegis of the forum filed a suit at a Federal High Court in Abuja.

The petitioners are, among other things, seeking for the nullification of the election of Senators Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu as President and Deputy Senate President, respectively.

Counsel for the SUF, Mamman Mike Osuman, SAN,) described reports that his clients had withdrawn the suit as “erroneous and mischievous.”

In a signed statement in Abuja, on Wednesday, Osuman explained that while the suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/647/2015, dated July 24, wherein “the purported election of Saraki and Ekweremadu was challenged,” which was filed by Senator Anthony Adeniyi, a member of the 7th Senate, had been withdrawn, the suit filed by his clients who are serving senators subsists.

He noted that oblivious of the existence of Adeniyi’s particularised suit, his clients briefed him to file a civil suit in court with an originating summons: FHC/ABJ/CS/651/2015.

“The above particularised suit differs in contents as can be distilled from their respective grounds, reliefs sought, affidavit evidence, parties and declarations sought,” he said.

He argued that the suit filed by serving senators, including Suleiman Hunkuyi, Kabir Garba Marafa, Abu Ibrahim, Robert Ajayi Boroffice and Gbenga Ashafa had not been withdrawn.

The statement partly read, “Despite the legal possibility that the suit discontinued could be re-filed, the media should have been more specific about the case withdrawn.

“Contrary to the misinformation put out there, we hereby confirm the originating summons in suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/651/2015 filed at the instance of the above-named senators against Saraki, Ekweremadu and the National Assembly.”

Osuman insisted that the prayers sought in the originating summons still persisted; “which is that the elections which brought Saraki and Ekweremadu are illegal, irregular and non-sustainable because the Senate Standing Orders (2011) was not amended in the manner stipulated by Rules 110 of the 2011 Senate Standing Orders to produce the purported document titled, Senate Standing Orders 2015 (as amended).”

The spokesman for the senate, Dino Melaye, had in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, expressed gratitude to the Senate Unity Forum for terminating the suit.

Melaye had, in the statement he signed, said the Senate commended the SUF over its decision to withdraw the suit seeking to remove the Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu, over allegations of forgery of the Senate Standing Orders 2015, used for the inauguration of the 8th Senate.

The Senate spokesperson had in the statement claimed that Justice Ademola Adeniyi, of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday struck out the case and terminated further hearing on the matter after the plaintiffs, who are members of the SUF, withdrew their suit.

The five members of the SUF, who instituted the suit, are senators Abu Ibrahim, Kabiru Marafa, Ajayi Borofice, Olugbenga Ashafa and Suleiman Hunkuyi.

Melaye, in his statement made available to newsmen via e-mail on Tuesday, had commended members of both the Unity Forum loyal to Senator Ahmad Lawan and the Like Minds Senators loyal to Saraki for their “maturity and sagacity.”

According to him, with the discontinuation of the suit the plaintiffs and their supporters have demonstrated that national interest is superior to individual and group interests.

He added that the development had put to shame divisive elements who wanted to ridicule the 8th Senate.

Melaye said, “On behalf of the Senate, we want to commend the maturity of the Senate Unity Group and Like Minds Group. We appreciate that by withdrawing the suit, national interest has overcome individual and group interests.

“I salute the sagacity of the Senate Unity Forum for withdrawing the matter from the court. This is as a result of series of underground reconciliatory moves. I salute the sense of purpose of both groups.

“By this very positive development, the divisive elements who wanted to bring the 8th Senate to ridicule have been completely shamed.”

He further stated that the 8th Senate will henceforth remain focused on issues that border only on the security and welfare of the people.

Melaye maintained that the primary objectives of the Senate shall continue to remain about the people, the people and the people.

He reiterated the promise of the Senate President to carry all parties along as he continues to always place national interest above primordial sentiments.

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