From Ado Abubakar Musa, Jos
the Plateau State High Court 1 presided over by Justice Pius Damulak, yesterday dismissed a suit filed before it by the impeached Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Johnbull Shekarau, challenging members of the state assembly for an illegitimate impeachment in October last year.
While ruling on the motion of preliminary objection earlier on raised by counsel to the defendants, Barrister Dr. F. Kwedy, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to determined the matter, Justice Damulak stated that counsels to both the complainant and the defendants have argued over on whether the court has the jurisdiction to hear and determine issues in the matter, with both citing authorities.
Counsel to the defendants Dr. Kwedy, had in his preliminary objection told the court that it had no jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter, stressing that the suit was filed 3 months and 25 days after the cause of action had taken place, rather than the stipulated 3 months as provided for by the Public Officers act Section 2 cap 111, of Northern Nigeria 1963.
However, counsel to the plaintiff, Barrister Boniface Ngyo, argued that the suit was filed in 2 months and 25 days amongst other arguments.
But in his ruling and judgment on the matter, which came by originating sermon, Justice Damulak, said the court has distilled that the cause of action took place on the 9th October, 2013, while the suit was instituted on the 11th January, 2014.
Justice Damulak added that: “The court having discovered that the suit was instituted and filed out of the stipulated 3 months is incompetent and therefore; the court declined jurisdiction to determine the matter”.
The judge said the constituents of the plaintiff have elected him to represent them, but was not the ones that had voted him as deputy speaker.
The state assembly has suspended Johnbull Shekarau from attending plenary sessions since the commencement of his court cases against the house.