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Tambuwal: Court Adjourns Case Till Nov 17, Orders Parties To Maintain Status Quo

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By Olufemi Olayinka, Abuja

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Friday adjourned till November 17 hearing in the substantive suit brought before it by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal as well as the notice of preliminary objection, filed by the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter.

The speaker had earlier approached the court via an ex parte application seeking an order to of interim injunction stopping the House of Representative from reconvening and removing him from office pending the determination of his suit.

The suit was earlier adjourned for the defendants to show the cause why the reliefs being sought in pursuant to Order 26 rules 12 and 13, Order 56 (1) of the Federal High Court rule 2009 should not be granted.

Counsel to the Speaker, Lateef Fagbemi, who led a team of 68 lawyers argued that based on the order of the court at the last adjourned date, the defendants ought to show cause through an affidavit and a written address.

Fagbemi further argued that they are supposed to respond to the plaintiff’s written address contained in its motion ex parte.

Counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ustaz Usman in his own argument said that there are two ways to show cause – to give evidence to contradict evidence in the ex parte application and bringing another fact or law to show why that order should not be made, adding that this is what rule 14 Order 26 of the Federal High Court provides.

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Usman called the attention of the court to the notice of preliminary objection he filed challenging the jurisdiction of the court and also the filed documents in response to the effect that the first plaintiff, Tambuwal, is not supposed to be in the lower chamber of the National Assembly not even as Speaker.

He said his points were enough facts to prove as regards the issue of jurisdiction that the court cannot give any order until the issue of jurisdiction has been decided.

Fagbemi replied that the hearing of the substantive suit before the court had not been touched for the PDP to challenge the jurisdiction of the court over the matter.

The presiding Judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed in his ruling agreed that the case of jurisdiction is to be determined first, but that the court has the right to inquire into it.

Justice Mohammed, however, ordered all parties involved in the case to maintain status quo, which says the House of representatives must not reconvene till the issue of jurisdiction is resolved.

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