Court To Determine Saraki, Ekweremadu’s Fate

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Dr Bukola Saraki

A Federal High Court in Abuja today ordered that, Dr Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu be put on notice on the suit filed challenging his emergence as Senate President and deputy senate president of the eighth senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Justice Kolawole of the court gave the order sequel to a suit filed a group of senators.

Five senators, Senators Abu Ibrahim, Kabiru Marafa, Ajayi Boroffice, Gbenga Ashafa, and Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi had filed an originating summons before the court seeking it to determine the following issues:

Dr Bukola Saraki
Dr Bukola Saraki

Whether having regards to the provisions of Section 60 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Rule 110 of the Senate Standing Orders 2011 (as amended), the Senate Standing Orders 2015 (as amended) is not an improper, invalid, illegal and unconstitutional document of the 8th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;

Whether the said 2015 Senate Standing Orders (as amended) contrived outside the prescriptive procedures stipulated by the extant provisions of Section 60 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Rule 110(1), (2), (3), (4) and (5) of the Senate Standing Orders 2011 (as amended) is not illegal, null and void and of no consequence whatsoever;

Whether by the combined effects of Section 60 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Rule 110(2), (3), (4) and (5) of the Senate Standing Orders 2011 (as amended), the 8th Senate upon Proclamation on Tuesday the 9th of June, 2015 was not wrong to have used/relied on the purportedly amended Senate Standing Orders 2015 (as amended) to “elect” the 1st and 2nd Defendants as the President of the Senate and the Deputy President of the Senate respectively;

Whether the assembly of the Senators-elect of Tuesday the 9th of June, 2015 was capable of electing the presiding officers of the Senate notwithstanding that almost fifty percent of the Senators-elect were yet to arrive at the Senate Chambers at the time of the election contrary to the extant provisions of Rules 3(3)(e) and (k) of Chapter 2 of the Senate Standing Orders 2011 (as amended);

Whether the election of the 1st and 2nd Defendants as President of the Senate and Deputy President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria respectively on Tuesday the 9th of June, 2015:

a. based on the said Senate Standing Orders 2015 (as amended) and

b. contrary to the extant provisions of Rules 3(3)(e) and (k) Chapter II of the Senate Standing Orders 2011 (as amended) is not invalid, improper, illegal, unconstitutional and therefore liable to be set aside.

Whether the quorum of “one-third (1/3) of all the members” stipulated in Section 54(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Rule 10(1) of the Senate Standing Orders 2011 (as amended) is applicable to the assembly of the Senators-elect under Rules 2(1), (2), and (3) of the Senate Standing Orders 2011 (as amended).

The plaintiffs therefore seek the following reliefs from the court:

A Declaration that the Senate Standing Orders 2011 (as amended) is the proper, valid, legal, constitutional and subsisting Rules/Standing Orders of the 8th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

A Declaration that the Senate Standing Orders 2015 (as amended) not being a product of any legitimate amendment pursuant to the extant provisions of Rule 110 of the Senate Standing Orders 2011 (as amended) is invalid, illegal, unconstitutional, null and void and of no legal effect whatsoever and howsoever.

A Declaration that the election of the 1st and 2nd Defendants as the President of the Senate and the Deputy President of the Senate of the 8th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria pursuant to the Senate Standing Orders 2015 (as amended) and contrary to the provisions of Rules 3(3) (e) and (k) Chapter II of the Senate Standing Orders 2011 (as amended) is wrongful, invalid, illegal, unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect whatsoever and howsoever.

An Order setting aside the purported election of the 1st and 2nd Defendants as Senate President and Deputy Senate President of the 8th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, respectively.

An Order setting aside the Senate Standing Orders 2015 (as amended).

An Order directing the 8th Senate to elect its presiding officers in accordance with the provisions of Section 54(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Rules 3(3), (e), (i) and (k) of the Senate Standing Orders 2011 (as amended).

Joined as defendants with Bukola and Ekweremadu in the suit are the clerk of the National Assembly, Clerk of the senate, the Senate, and the National Assembly. The plaintiffs were represented by a team of lawyers that include Chief Mamman Mike Osuman SAN, Dele Adesina SAN, Abubakar Malami SAN, and several other lawyers.

The court adjourned further hearing till August 5, 2015.

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