A federal high court in Abuja has rejected an ex-parte motion seeking to restrain Aminu Tambuwal from acting as the speaker of the house of representatives.
Abiodun Akinlade, a representative of Yewa South/Ipokia federal constituency at the lower chamber, had asked the court to order Tambuwal to stop regarding himself as the speaker.
Akinlade’s suit is also to buttress the PDP’s position that Tambuwal’s defection from the party to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) was a breach of the constitution.
Tambuwal had formally defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He announced his defection shortly after the House Leader, Mulikat Akande-Adeola (PDP-Oyo), moved a motion for the house to adjourn sitting till Dec. 3.
“In pursuit of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and in view of the political developments in my state, I wish to formally inform you of my membership of the APC,” Tambuwal said. “This is in continuation of the great sacrifice and also the need to ensure development of constitutional democracy.’’
However, in a separate suit, the court had granted the PDP permission to challenge the position of Tambuwal as speaker of the house of representatives
But Ahmed Mohammed, the justice who presided over the matter, opposed the motion, saying it would be unfair to grant a restraining order against Tambuwal.
The case was initially assigned to Evoh Chukwu, a justice of the federal high court in Abuja, who withdrew from it on the grounds that a petition had been written against him by Tambuwal.
Tambuwal, who fell out with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after defecting to APC, had earlier petitioned the national judicial commission over the matter, demanding for a neutral judge.
He said Chukwu was biased and that he would not get justice.
“Sometime in 2013, the said presiding judge, ESJ Chukwu, presided over the case of Peoples Democratic Party & 12 ORS VS. INEC & 4 ORS, wherein he made a judicial pronouncement, which has been interpreted by some, to the effect that there was no division, in Peoples Democratic Party,” he had written.
“Having made a pronouncement on similar issues, in similar cases, decided by him, clearly shows that he has an iron cast judicial position or opinion in respect of Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/871/2014 concerning me, Sir, which has just been assigned to him.
“My apprehension is further fortified by the fact that both decisions of Justice Chukwu and Justice Ademola as captured in the said suits are subject of appeal in the court of appeal.
“I humbly urge my Lord to re-assign the said Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/871/2014 to a neutral judge, who has not made any judicial pronouncement on the issue, or made public his own opinion on the issue at hand.”