By Umar Muhammad Puma and Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives has again suspended public hearing on the controversy generated by the refusal of the Nigerian Law School to call one of its graduands.
Miss Amasa Firdausi was denied the opportunity over her wearing of hijab (an Islamic veil for women).
The suspension according to the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Justice, Hon. Abdulrazak Atunwa was due to an order of the Federal High Court in Abuja asking the House to stay action.
The chairman before adjourning the hearing which had been put off on two different occasions due to requests by the Body of Benchers, apologised to stakeholders who thronged the venue of the hearing with a view to making their voices heard.
Displaying a copy of the court order issued by one Justice A I Chikere, of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division and signed by Ben
Mulokwu, Registrar, Hon Atunwa said that the committee was obliged to further suspend the hearing in order allow the suit
No:FHC/ABJ/CS/110/2018 filed by Adeniyi Ojo Esq and 7 others to be determined.
Reacting to the development, Rep Bode Ayorinde, also a lawyer questioned the right of the court to intervene in a parliamentary proceeding.
Ayorinde argued that the Bill of Rights which covers the legality of actions by each arm of government empowers the parliament to carry out investigations into matters of public importance in line with provisions of the constitution.
He added that, “by virtue of the existence of the Bill of Rights, the committee could go ahead and conduct the hearing, but having been approached by the chairman over this, I would want to defer to him on the basis of the need to respect judicial pronouncement with a view to protecting the system just as we wouldn’t like the institution of the legislature to be disobeyed”.
But Muslims groups who besieged the venue expressed disappointment at the decision of the Committee to have allowed itself get manipulated by “frivolous” court order.
One of the stakeholders at the hearing and a director of Muslim Rights Concern MURIC, Prof. Ishak Akintola briefed the press on behalf of the coalition, expressing frustration over the series of postponements being suffered by the hearing.
He said those who went to court to obtained frivolous injunction against the hearing are afraid of the truth because they have no point to prove or argue.
He said: “Amasa Firduasi should be called to bar like every other lawyers of her graduation year”.
“Amasa remains a heroin and as such has our support 110percent”, he said, adding that the case may continue to suffer further “kangaroo” injunctions.
The groups affirmed that justice delayed is justice denied, insisting that Amasa Firduas must be called to bar without further delay.
They also urged the committee to disregard the issue of public hearing and focus on working with the 87 memoranda so far received and write its report.
The coalition is made up of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), the Association of Muslims Legal Practitioners (AMLP), Coalition of Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) among others.