Kano Speaker, CP risk jail over lawmakers’ suspension
The Federal High Court sitting in Kano State has granted the five suspended House of Assembly members Form 48, against the Speaker, the Clerk and the Commissioner of Police for refusal to reinstate them.
The process granted by the court, until it is set aside, will subsequently lead to granting of contempt, which will compel the defendants to prove why they should not be jailed for failing to obey court order.
In his earlier ruling, Justice Lewis Allagoa had ordered the Speaker, Abdulazeez Gafasa, to perfect the reinstatement of the five lawmakers and reimbursement of their full salaries and allowances.
Labaran Madari (APC, Warawa), Bello Bututu (APC, Rimin Gado/Toga), Isyaku Gezawa (PDP, Gezawa), Garba Yau (APC, Kunchi/Tsanyawa) and Maje Gwangwazo (PDP, Municipal) were suspended in March 3, 2020 for allegedly violating the house rules.
Although the defendants have filed motions of appeal and stay of execution against the ruling, Allagoa’s verdict is yet to be set aside by a higher court as at press time.
Challenging the issuance of Form 48, counsel to the defendants, Aliyu Ibrahim, asked the court to set aside the process against his clients. Aliyu, in a fresh motion, asked the court not to grant any further process and attempt by the plaintiffs to obtain Form 49, arguing against its jurisdiction in granting the Form 48 when the motion on stay of execution was still pending before the appellate court.
“We have filed appeal against the ruling of Justice Allagoa and application for stay of execution on the order which are still pending. Ordinarily, the parties should have stay of execution until the appellate court hears and rules on the matter. Until then, I don’t think the Federal High Court has the jurisdiction to issue the Form 48.
“Today, we have filed fresh motion for the court to set aside the Form 48 since the matter is already before the Court of Appeal. We also applied for the court to refuse any application for issuance of Form 49 because we know that will be the next move by the plaintiffs,” Aliyu noted.
In his counter argument, counsel to the five lawmakers, Abdulafis Khalid, insisted that until the appellate court sets aside the ruling, all parties must obey the high court’s verdict.
The defendants requested adjournment to enable them file response to the plaintiffs’ application. Allagoa adjourned the matter till Monday July 6, 2020 for further hearing.