A Makurdi High Court Judge, Justice Theresa Igoche, has dismissed the preliminary objection filed by the former Speaker of Benue House of Assembly, Mr Terkimbi Ikyange, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain a case against him.
Ikyange’s successor, Mr Titus Uba and 21 other lawmakers, had dragged him and other principal officers of the House to the court, over allegations that they had disobeyed a court order restraining them from parading themselves as principal officers of the assembly.
The plaintiffs had joined the Nigeria Police and Department of Security Services (DSS) in the matter because of their role in the invasion of the assembly complex.
When the matter came up for hearing last month, Ikyange’s counsel, Mr Mike Usman (SAN), filed a preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter.
Usman averred that by Section 251 of the 1999 Constitution, only a Federal High Court could entertain matters where federal agencies were involved.
He, therefore, urged the court to disqualify itself from hearing the case.
Delivering ruling on Tuesday, Igoche said that the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs were directed at Ikyange and the other principal officers of the house.
“The cause of action initiated by the plaintiffs was not targeted at the Police and DSS but against the first three defendants.
“The Police and DSS were only joined in the matter because of their role in the unlawful invasion of the assembly complex,” Igoche explained.
She, therefore, dismissed the preliminary objection for lack of merit and awarded cost of N10,000 against the defendants.
NAN reports that the matter was thereafter adjourned to Sept. 11, 2018 for hearing.(NAN)