Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday declined to hear the suit filed by a former Chairman, Appropriation Committee, House of Representatives, Abdulmumin Jibrin, to stop an alleged plan by the House to suspend him.
The development dashed the hope of the legislator who had expected that his suit would be heard and determined before the House resumes from recess.
Justice Abang, who is currently sitting as the court’s vacation judge, returned the file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for re-assignment to another judge when the regular court resumes in September.
The judge said since it would be impossible for him to conclude the case before he winds up as vacation judge next week, the option left to him was to return the case file to the Chief Judge for re-assignment.
The plaintiff’s lawyer, Abdulamid Mohammed, on Thursday informed the court that the defendants served him with their notice of preliminary objection on Wednesday and that he has filed a response.
He sought a short stand down of the proceedings to enable him to retrieve a copy of his response from the court’s registry so that the hearing could proceed.
But defendants’ lawyer, Kalu Onuoha objected to Mohammed’s request for a stand down.
He sought an adjournment to enable him to study the plaintiff’s response and decide whether or not to equally respond.
In response, Justice Abang noted that it was unnecessary to commence hearing in the case during vacation since the he would not be able to conclude hearing and determination of the case before the end of the court’s vacation on September 9.
Defendants in the suit are the House of Representatives, the Clerk of the House of Representatives, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; Yusuf Lasun (Deputy Speaker), Alhassan Ado Doguwa, Leo Ogor, Herman Hembe, Umar Mohammed Bago, Zakari Mohammed, Chike Okafor, Dan Asuquo, Jagaba Adms, Haliru Jika and Uzoma Abonta.
Jibrin disclosed on Thursday he attracted the wrath of the House’s leadership when, as Chairman of the Appropriation Committee he rejected alleged proposals by Dogara and others to corner about N90bn to themselves from the 2016 budget.
He made this claim in an additional document he filed before the Federal High Court, Abuja with respect to his suit numbered, FHC/ABJ/CS:595/2016, seeking to among others, restrain the House’s leadership from suspending him from the House.
In the document filed on Thursday, Jibrin, who is an All Progressives Congress legislator, representing Kiru/Bebeji Federal Constituency of Kano State, stated that he had some conflicts with the House’s leadership because he rejected their unlawful directives.