Chairman, Appropriation Committee of the House of Representatives, Abdulmumin Jibrin, challenging his suspension from the House of Representatives, has filed a fresh suit before a Federal High Court in Abuja, asking it to award the sum of N1 billion against the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and the Clerk of the House as punitive and general damages for his suspension from the floor of the House.
The House of Representatives had suspended the lawmaker from Kano State who is at the centre of the unfolding budget padding scandal, for 180 legislative days.
In a motion recommended by House Ethics Committee chairman, Nicholas Ossai, and adopted by the whole House, Jibrin will also not be able to hold any position of responsibility for the span of the current National Assembly.
The embattled legislator had on August 9, 2016 approached the court seeking an order to restrain the lower legislative chamber from any attempt to suspend him.
The suit was filed before Justice Okon Abang during the court vacation period that lasted for about two months.
However, upon resumption, the matter was re-assigned to Justice Tsoho and was fixed for Friday, for mention.
Jibrin’s counsel, Mr. Mohammed Abdulhamid had, at the last sitting on the matter, informed the judge that the House of Representatives had, by going ahead to suspend his client ‘overreached’ his client’s motion filed before the court to seek an order restraining the House from carrying out the suspension.
Meanwhile, Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Friday struck out the suit filed by the embattled former Chairman, Appropriation Committee of the House of Representatives, Abdulmumin Jibrin, challenging his suspension from the House of Representatives.
The striking of the suit by the court followed Jibrin’s application for discontinuance of the matter filed through his lawyer, Chukwuma Nwachukwu dated October 11, 2016.
Nwachukwu prayed the court on Friday, when the case came up to discontinue with the hearing of the case.
Kalu Onuorah, representing the House of Representatives and thirteen other defendants in the matter did not oppose the application of discontinuance of the matter, but however asked for a cost N200, 000.00 on the ground that the defendants had filed processes and had put in a lot in the matter.
Justice Tsoho, in a short ruling struck out the matter and declined to award cost.
In the application for discontinuance of the suit earlier filed against the Speaker and thirteen others, Jibrin’s lawyer informed the court that a fresh originating summons has been filed.
Jibrin, in the new suit is asking the court to declare that his suspension is a violation of his fundamental human right to freedom of expression and also prayed the court to declare that the resolution passed by the House of Representatives suspending him is in breach of the provisions of Section 68 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
He is also seeking an order of injunction restraining the House of Representatives from preventing him from participating in the Committees of the House or accessing the legislative chambers to perform his legislative duties.
Hearing of the fresh suit filed by the embattled former Chairman, Appropriation Committee of the House of Representatives has been scheduled to commence on the twenty-second of November 22, 2016.
Jibrin’s suspension was a fallout of his campaign since July for the removal of the House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, and other principal officers of the House over allegation that they padded the 2016 budget with about N40 billion.