Published On: Tue, May 21st, 2019

Senate leadership: Court rejects suit to stop Saraki, Ekweremadu’s sack

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By Vivian Okejeme Abuja

Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, struck out a suit seeking to stop the removal of Dr Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu as Senate President and Deputy Senate President respectively.
The court held that the plaintiff, the Incorporated Trustee of the Civil Society Observatory for Constitutional and Legal Compliance (CSOCLC) failed to prove the case with credible evidence before the court in any way to grant the reliefs it sought.
The plaintiff, had in a suit dated and filed on 21st August, 2018, prayed the court to determine whether Saraki and Ekweremadu could be removed from office without a resolution of the Senate and supported by votes of two-thirds or 73 members of the Senate.
The suit that was supported by 11paragraph affidavit deposed to by ThankGod Chiemela, was premised on the strength of section 50(2) (c) of the 1999 constitution as amended.
CSOCLC, in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/936/2018 had urged the court to declare that lawmakers cannot be removed from office as President of the Senate and Deputy President of the Senate unless pursuant to a resolution supported by the votes of not less than 73 members of the Senate.
The plaintiff, earlier in the trial tendered as evidence, a newspaper reports alleging threats of removing Saraki and Ekweremadu from the office of Senate President and Deputy Senate President respectively.
In his judgement, Justice Tsoho held that although both Saraki and Ekweremadu cannot be validly removed from office without a resolution of the Senate and supported by a vote of 73 senators, he however dismissed the suit on the grounds that the newspaper reports alleging threats of removing the lawmakers from office, are not admissible in law.
The judge ruled, “There is no evidential value in the newspaper publications tendered by the plaintiff”, because the report of the newspaper are not statement made by the maker of the document.
“I hold that the plaintiff has failed to adduce credible and cogent evidence in support of its originating summons.
“Accordingly, all the reliefs sought by the plaintiff cannot be granted due to lack of credible evidence. The suit, as filed by the plaintiff is hereby struck out.’’

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