Thursday, August 6, 2015

Court rejects Saraki’s protest against Senate forgery suit

Dr Bukola Saraki, Senate President
A Federal High Court in Abuja Wednesday
rejected a complaint by Senate President,
Bukola Saraki against a suit seeking to sack
him and other principal officers of the Senate
elected under the controversial Senate
Standing Orders 2015.
His lawyer, Sikiru Oke told the court that he
appeared for the Senate President “in protest”
and has not filed “memorandum of
appearance” which must be filed before a
lawyer could enter appearance for a party in a
The proceedings were in relation to a suit
marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/651/2015 filed by
senators who are opposed to the emergence
of Saraki as the Senate President.
They are Senators Abu Ibrahim, Kabir Marafa,
Ajayi Boroffice, Olugbenga Ashafa and
Suleiman Hunkuni. Defendants to the suit are
Saraki, Deputy Senate President, Ike
Ekweremadu; the National Assembly, the
Clerks of the National Assembly and the
The plaintiffs seek among other prayers and
order nullifying the Senate Standing Orders
2015 as well as the election of Saraki as the
Senate President and that of Ike Ekweremadu
as the Deputy Senate President, for being
products of the alleged illegal rules.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole had at the last
hearing in the case, (July 28, 2015) adjourned
the case to Wednesday for the hearing of the
plaintiffs’ motion on notice seeking an order
restraining Saraki and other defendants from
going ahead to constitute the standing
committees of the Senate pending when their
suit challenging the validity of the Senate
Standing Orders 2015 is determined.
Oke contended that court processes in the
case were served on his office instead of being
served personally served on his client, as
prescribed the Federal High Court Rules 2009.
Plaintiffs’ lawyer, Dele Adesina (SAN), in a
counter argument, contended that there are
obligatory provisions of the same court rules
which envisages and validates service on
Saraki through his office.
Adesina also argued that Oke could not be
heard since he had yet to file memorandum of
appearance to appear for the first defendant
Ruling, Justice Kolawole upheld Adesina’s
position and disqualified Oke from appearing
for Saraki during the proceedings.He directed
that the case be transferred to another judge,
Justice Adeniyi Ademola, who will take over as
the vacation judge of the Federal High Court in
Abuja on August 10. He adjourned to August
Justice Kolawole had, in a ruling on July 28,
dismissed an ex parte application by the
plaintiffs in which they had earlier sought the
restraining order against the constitution of
the senate standing committees.
In the ruling, Justice Kolawole said the
disputes arising from the alleged forgery of the
Senate Standing Orders constituted internal
legislative affair of the Senate which the court
would not want to intervene in.

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