Saturday, September 24

Falana asks house of reps to suspend Jibrin’s probe

Falana asks house of reps to suspend Jibrin’s probe

Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, has asked Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives, to stop the ongoing probe against Abdulmumin Jibrin, former chairman appropriations.

Jibrin is expected to face the ethics and privileges committee on Monday, on alleged breach of lawmakers’ privileges.

But in a letter dated September 23, Falana, who is also Jibrin’s counsel, told Dogara that the probe of Jibrin contravened order 9, rule 5 of the standing orders of the house.

“As you are no doubt aware the decision of the house to cause the committee to investigate our client by the committee on ethics and privileges contravenes order 9 rule 5 of the standing orders of the house of representatives which provides that; reference shall not be made to any matter on which a judicial decision is pending, in such a way as might, in the speaker’s opinion, prejudice the interest of parties thereto,” Falana’s letter read.

“It is worthy of note that the house of representatives and by extension the national assembly had at no time departed from this rule by entertaining a case pending before a court of law in Nigeria.

“It is therefore worrisome and disturbing that you allowed a motion seeking to suspend our client from the floor of the house of representatives to be moved and adopted while there is a pending suit at the federal high court, Abuja filed by him, seeking among other things an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants, their agents, servants or privies from further suspending and or attempting to suspend or remove the plaintiff from his position as a member of the house of representatives representing Kiru/Bebeji federal constituency of Kano state in suit no FHC/ABJ/50/5/2016 at the federal high court between Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin and the house of representatives and 13 others.

“The originating processes in the said suit have been served on you and you have accordingly entered appearance to defend our client’s claims through your counsel, senator Ikechukwu Obiora and Co therefore, you will agree with us that your action in the circumstance is inconsistent with the practice and procedure of the house of representatives and long standing tradition of not entertaining any debate on a subject a matter that is sub-judice by virtue and provisions of order 9 rule 5 of the standing orders of the house of representatives.

“In the light of the foregoing, the decision of the house to refer our client to the house committee on ethics and privileges on a subject matter that is sub-judice is a clear breach of his rights and privileges as a member of the house of representatives.

“We have no doubt that you would use your good office to suspend the sittings of the committee on ethics and privileges so as to prevent the committee members and the entire house from engaging in contempt of court.

“It is hoped that you will not compel us to embark on contempt proceedings in respect of this matter.”

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