By A’isha Biola Raji
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday fixed December 16 to commence hearing on the application seeking to stay proceedings in the suit filed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal.
Members of Tambuwal’s constituents, Kebbe/Tambuwal Federal Constituency of Sokoto State had, in two separate applications asked the court stay proceedings in the suit.
Their applications for stay of proceedings were hinged on the grounds that they had filed notices of appeal against the ruling of the court, which on December 1 disallowed them to be joined as co- defendants in the suit.
One of the two applications seeking to be joined as parties in the suit was jointly filed on behalf of the people of Kebbe/Tambuwal Federal Constituency by Chairman of Kebbe Local Government Area, Bala Konkani, and Chairman of Tambuwal local government area, Sambo Modo.
The other application was filed in the name of the constituents by three members of the Sokoto State House of Assembly, Abdul Samad Dasuki, Suleiman Hantsi and Shu’aibu Umar – representing Tambuwal East, Tambuwal West and Kebbe constituencies respectively.
The constituents are opposed to Tambuwal’s removal as Speaker and declaration of his seat vacant, arguing that removing him would deprive them of representation in the House of Representatives.
When the matter came up for hearing yesterday, Tambuwal’s counsel, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) told the court that he had filed a counter affidavit to the application for stay of proceedings by parties seeking to be joined in the matter.
Counsel to persons seeking to be joined, Israel Olorundare (SAN) and that of the Sokoto State legislators, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) asked court for a short adjournment to enable them respond to the plaintiff’s counter affidavit.
The trial Judge, Justice Ahmed Ramat Abubakar, having listened to the submissions of parties in the matter adjourned till December 16 to hear the application for stay of proceedings in the matter.
It will be recalled that the court had, in dismissing the applications for joinder held that their stance in the suit ran contrary to that of the existing co-defendants on record.
Tambuwal had earlier approached the court with a suit to stop the House of Representatives from declaring his seat vacant on the account of his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).