Appeal Court dismisses House of Reps suit against Jibrin

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AN Abuja division of the Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal filed by the House of Representatives to delay the hearing of the case challenging the suspension of Hon. AbdulMumin Jibrin before the Federal High court.

The House of Representatives members have filed an interlocutory at the Court of Appeal asking the court to stop further hearing of the case before the High Court, unless they are joined in the case as interested parties.

The appellants are Hons Ossai Nicholas Ossai and Orker-Jev Emmanuel Yisa, while the Respondents are Hon Abdul Mumuni Jubrin, Speaker of the House of Representatives, the House of Representatives and the Clerk, House of Representatives. In a unanimous judgment by the panel of Justices, the appellate court described the appeal by the House of Representative as ‘unmeritorious” and subsequently dismissed it.

In the lead judgment delivered by Justice Fatima Omoro Akinbami, the appellate court held that by not joining the house members who appealed the case “is not fatal to the 1st Respondent’s case.” Other Justices who agreed with the lead judgment are Ahmad Olanrewaju Belgore and Paul Obi Elechi. Jubrin had filed a suit before the Federal High Court praying it to declare that his suspension from the legislative work for 180 days was a violation of his fundamental rights to freedom of expression as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution as amended.

The Appellants had also filed a suit as joinder in the case filed in court, saying their appearance in the case is important since they were the ones that raised the issue of suspension of Jubrin at the floor of the House. However, Justice Omoro Akinbami who delivered the lead judgment held that,

“The mere mentioning of the names of the appellants in an averment in supporting affidavit, does not necessarily create a legal obligation to have them joined as necessary parties , when there is modicum of reason to do so.

“What is more is the duty of the Plaintiff to bring to court any party, whose presence is crucial to the resolution of his case because only him can decide on the person he believes he has relief against.

“Consequently, I hold that the appellants are not necessary parties in the instance suit, whose presence is imperative for the effective and effectual determination of the issues in contention and their not being joined as parties is not fatal to the 1st Respondent’s case. The issue is accordingly resolved against the appellants.”

Meanwhile, the high court is expected to begin the hearing of the case. – Vanguard

–   Dec 12, 2017 @ 11:46 GMT |

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