© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Abdulmumin Jibrin’s suspension is null and void, court rules
JUSTICE John Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has nullified the 180-day suspension slammed on Abdulmumin Jibrin, former Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, in September 2016, for allegedly bringing the House to disrepute.
Jibrin was suspended after he alleged that Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House, together with other principal officers of the House, had illegally inserted phantom projects worth billions of naira into the 2016 budget.
He filed a suit in court to challenge the suspension, which he claimed was illegal, but the case was not decided until Thursday.
In his ruling, Justice Tsoho said Jibrin was merely carrying out his legilsative responsibilities and that the suspension was an attempt to gag him.
Tsoho also ruled that “the suspension was an interruption of his (Jibrin’s) earning which will be automatically restored especially when it has been decided that the action was a nullity by virtue of granting prayers 1 and 3 of the originating summons. When an action is declared nullity it is deemed that it never happened”.
Jibrin was recalled to the House in March 2018, 16 months after he was first suspended, but he kept on pursuing his case in court.
Thursday’s judgement follows a similar pattern to the case of Ali Ndume, who was suspended from the Senate for 90-legislative days, following his call for an investigation into allegations against the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and Dino Melaye.
Ndume’s suspension was also annulled by a court after he had served out his suspension and had resumed sitting.
More recently, a court judgement also nullified the suspension of Ovie Omo-Agege, Delta State Senator, who had accused the senate of targeting President Muhammadu Buhari by changing the 2019 election timetable that had already been announced by INEC.
The ruling by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba or the FHC, Abuja, stated that no legislative house can suspend its member for more than 14 days, in accordance to the constitution.