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Published On: Tue, Nov 13th, 2018

New Benue Chief Judge vacates order restraining Speaker from sitting in State Assembly

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From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi

A Makurdi High Court presided over by the new Chief Judge of Benue State Justice Aondover Kaka’an yesterday vacated a subsisting interim order restraining the Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Titus Uba, and 21 other members from holding sittings at the Assembly complex.
Justice Kaka’an, who was sworn in recently, vacated the order while ruling on a motion brought before the court by counsels to the Speaker led by Sebastine Hon, SAN and Edward Ashiekaa who had prayed the court to set aside its interim order of August 13th, 2018.
The order restrained Speaker Uba and the 21 others from conducting legislative business at the complex.
In his ruling, Justice Kaka’an noted that by law the judicial arm of government cannot restrain the Benue State House of Assembly from performing its legislative and constitutional functions.
He averred that the role of the judiciary is not to overheat the polity with orders which are capable of destabilizing same, maintaining that the court should not encourage impunity in any form.
The Chief Judge described the argument against granting of the motion by counsel to the former Speaker, Terkimbi Ikyange and seven others, Mr Sunday Okpale as an academic exercise.
He ruled that the interim order of August 13, 2018 which restrained the use of the Assembly complex played on the intelligence of an earlier order and the entire legal system and was a dent on the image of the judiciary.
Justice Kaka’an maintained that injunctive orders were not at the beck and call of the court to be shared and that claimants must earn them.
He transfered the substantive case to High Court 9 presided over by Justice Augustine Ityonyiman for hearing and determination on November 26th, 2018.
In his reaction to the judgement, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Micheal Gusa stated that by virtue of the ruling, the Benue State House of Assembly under the leadership of Hon. Uba could resume the conduct of legislative business at the Assembly Complex.
He said the ruling upheld the principle of separation of powers in a democracy.

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