Kogi court quashes six months suspension of lawmaker
A Kogi State High Court sitting in Lokoja has nullified the suspension of Friday Makama by the Kogi State House of Assembly for lack of validity.
Makama, who represents Igalamela Odolu constituency, had taken the House to court for being suspended on March 28, 2017 over what the members described as anti-legislative activities.
Delivering judgment on the matter, Justice Henry Olusuyi said his suspension was an act of legislative insolence, which would not be allowed in any competent court of jurisdiction.
The court maintained that the suspension of the first defendant who came to seek redress in court was invalid, illegal and unconstitutional.
Olusuyi noted that the claimant has the right to sue the first defendant but can only be suspended when found wanting in house rule 37 to 39, which is not related to the case at hand.
He ordered that his entitlements be paid for the period he was on suspension.
He also reserved the right of the house or the party to appoint its principal officers, especially of the minority leader.
While setting aside the claimant’s right to seek relief of judgment as the minority leader, Olusuyi said the house in the other relief acted outside its constitutional powers.
Speaking shortly after the ruling, counsel to the plaintiff, Promise Ogbadu described the judgment as symbolic and profound.
“We still have other issues at the court of appeal. It is very interesting that the court did not mince words while insisting that the assembly’s act was not only contemptuous, but was also a legislative impunity and irresponsibility.”
“To that extent, we hope and pray that the judgment will give direction to the Kogi State House of Assembly and other houses of Assembly in the country on the extent of their powers as it relate to their members,” he stated.
He added that it was unacceptable for any house or members to gang and abridge the right of the people’s representatives contrary to the laws of the land.
Meanwhile, counsel to the defendant Gabriel Saliu described the ruling as complete.