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Published On: Fri, Mar 23rd, 2018

Reps threaten to part ways with judiciary

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The House of RepresentativesBy Christiana Ekpa and Umar Muhammad Puma

The constitutional power tussle between the National Assembly and the judiciary yesterday took another dimension as the Speaker House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara threatened that the National Assembly will part ways with the Judiciary, if the judiciary continues to interfere with its constitutional powers.
Dogara disclosed this at the Thursday’s plenary when a matter of breach of privilege was brought before the house by Rep. Razak Atuwa.
The matter, which includes a court order by Justice Anwuli Chikere of Abuja High Court restraining the House joint committee on Justice and Judiciary from investigating the denial by the Council of Legal Education (Law School) of Ms Amass Firdausi from being called to Bar on account of wearing Hijab.
According to the speaker, the Judiciary had no constitutional right to intervene into activities of the Parliament.
“It is now obvious that some power, somewhere, is intimidating the judiciary to gag us; and that cannot stop us from carrying out our constitutional duties.
“This is the house of the people. The judiciary has no power to dictate to us on what to do. We make laws and they cannot; we have tolerated the judiciary enough; and if they continue like this, then we are headed for more trouble. We can only obey the judiciary if we choose to,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Atunwa said, “A further breach of the privileges act was perpetrated when the said lawyer came to this very House within the precincts of this hallowed chamber to serve the clerk with the injunction.
This, he said, was a clear violation of section 23(a) of the act which states: “Notwithstanding, the provision of any law court process or orders shall not be served or executed in the chamber or precincts of a legislative house.”
The house, therefore, resolved to write a strong letter to the Chief Justice of Nigeria to take immediate steps to ensure judges respect and preserve the sovereignty of parliament.

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