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The federal government has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to compel the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, to sack some members of the House of Representatives who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) recently.
The government prayed the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining Tambuwal from further permitting the affected lawmakers from participation in all the activities of the House.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola had while delivering judgment in a matter brought by the PDP asking that the legislators should not be allowed to take part in the activities of the House, ruled that the lawmakers had no business remaining in the House since they had left the party that brought them to the House, and should have resigned honourably.
But despite the fact that the affected lawmakers had since filed an appeal against the judgment, the federal government argued that in the absence of any order of court to the contrary, it was imperative to seek declaratory and injunctive reliefs against the defected lawmakers in order to give effect t the judgment.
In the suit filed on behalf of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), by Ade Okeaya-Inneh (SAN), Dr. Fabian Ajogwu (SAN) and Solomon Umoh (SAN), the federal government is praying the court amongst other reliefs, for a declaration that in the light of the combined effects of Sections 68(1) (g), 68(2), and 49 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Oloyo v Alegbe (1983) as well as the decision of the Federal High Court Justice Ademola in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/4/14, the House of Representatives is not properly constituted or lawfully composed as envisaged by Section 49 of the Constitution.
It also asked the court to declare that the House, in view of the authorities cited above, is not properly constituted or composed as envisaged by Section 49 of the Constitution to lawfully exercise its general legislative powers and functions under section of the constitution as distinct from proceedings.
The government also asked the court to declare that the House and its Speakers, in view of the authorities cited above, cannot lawfully count the votes or presence of the persons affected by the said decision of the Federal High Court, for purposes of determining if a bill is carried or not, and for purposes of quorum of the House or its committees under section 62(2) of the constitution respectively.
Lastly, it is relying on the authorities cited above, asked the court to declare that the Speaker should not continue to accord the persons affected by the said decision of the Federal High Court, the rights and the privileges of the members of the House of Representatives.
The defendants in the suits are the House of Representatives and the Speaker.
Justice Ademola asked the 37 former members of PDP to resign their seats at the House for defecting to the opposition APC.
He also perpetually restrained them from effecting any leadership change in the assembly.
The judge held that the lawmakers no longer had any business, morally and legally in the assembly.
He said they should honourably resign from their seats as members of the House of Representatives, having moved to another political party while their tenure had yet to expire.
“Having perused the arguments of counsel and the constitutional provisions, it is clear and unambiguous that the defendants were sponsored by the PDP and won the election on its platform.
“It is also the court’s opinion that their tenure has not expired and there is no division in the PDP.
“The defendants are, therefore, not competent to vote or contribute to any proceedings in the House of Representatives.
“An order of perpetual injunction is, hereby, ordered, restraining them from altering or attempting to change the leadership of the House of Representative,’’ Ademola said.