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Court squashes suspension of five Kano lawmakers

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A Federal High Court sitting in Kano yesterday invalidated the suspension of five lawmakers by the House of Assembly.

Justice Lewis Allagoa, who dismissed the allegation of misconduct and violation of house rules against the lawmakers, insisted that the action of the speaker, Abdulazeez Gafaza, was null and void.

Although the judge did not grant the N10 million damages demanded by the lawmakers, the ordered payment of their salaries and allowances since they were suspended.

Counsel to the lawmakers, Nuraini Jimoh, had told the court that the suspension of his clients contravened Article 13 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) as well as Section 109 of the 1999 Constitution.

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The five members suspended on March 16, 2020, are Labaran Madari of All Progressives Congress (APC) representing Warawa constituency, Bello Bututu (APC, Rimin Gado/Tofa constituency), Garba Yau (APC, Kunchi/Tsanyawa), as well as Isyaku Danja of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) representing Gezewa constituency and Maje Gwangwazo (PDP, Kano Municipal).

Suspension of the lawmakers, according to Gafaza, was due to violation of house rules, especially Order IV (4a, b, d and e), bordering on disruption of plenary and prevention of proceedings.

The said disruption may not be unconnected with the protest following the planned probe of the deposed Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, by the leadership of the assembly.

The embattled PDP lawmakers, who enjoyed the support of few colleagues in the ruling APC, forced the plenary to a halt when the proceeding turned rowdy, a development that frustrated the debate to suspend the now deposed emir.

Meanwhile, counsel to the speaker and Assembly, Marcellinus Duru, argued that his clients would appeal the judgement.

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