Court nullifies Jibril suspension, scolds reps for arbitrariness, bias and impartiality

Court nullifies Jibril suspension, scolds reps for arbitrariness, bias and impartiality

Ebun Francis|

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, nullified the suspension of former Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin for 180 legislative days by the Federal House of Representatives.

The Court also scolded the lower house of the National Assembly for the suspension of the Kano lawmaker.

Jibrin was suspended in 2016 for alleging that the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, and other principal officers of the House padded the 2016 budget.

In his ruling on Thursday on the suit brought bt Jibril, Justice John Tsoho, declared that the action of the House was unconstitutional.

Justice Tsoho said the defendants, by suspending Jibrin, violated his rights as enshrined in Section 39 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

He further averred that the defendants were biased when the principal officers who raised the allegation against Jibrin were part of the committee that investigated the matter.

According to the Judge, it was necessary to admonish the House to perform its duties with the constitution in mind and avoid arbitrariness, bias and impartiality.

He said, “At this juncture, a general admonition is deemed necessary.

“The House of Representatives should be the bastion of representative democracy in Nigeria and should thus hold as very dear, the tenets of democracy and stick tenaciously to same.

“Democracy thrives on and is fuelled by the rule of law and not by the rule of force, arbitrariness or impunity.

“The House should not desecrate itself by openly exhibiting lack of faith in the constitution and the rule of law to which it owes its very existence.

“Drawing from a traditional adage, it is apt to state that any entity that challenges its soul to a fight is doomed and will fail.”

The judge nullified the suspension of the lawmaker and ordered the House of Representatives to pay all outstanding salaries and allowances that accrued to him while he was on suspension.

“The suspension is null and void, and of no effect whatsoever.”

The presiding Judge also ruled that by the House standing rules, the House could not suspend Jibrin for more than 14 legislative days or 30 legislative days.