A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Monday granted an injunction stopping lawmakers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from reconvening the House of Representatives from recess, ordering that the House should maintain status quo.
- The All progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers secured the ruling
- They had suspected that some PDP lawmakers were planning to reconvene the House
- After Tambuwal’s defection the PDP had advised him to vacate the seat of the Speaker
The court’s ruling came after lawmakers of the All Progressives Congress (APC) filed a lawsuit, seeking an injunction to stop the PDP lawmakers from reconvening the House until the December 3 date fixed by Mr Aminu Tambuwal after he announced his defection to the APC.
The APC lawmakers had suspected that the PDP lawmakers were planning to reconvene the House, contrary to the date set by Tambuwal.
Details of the court proceedings are still sketchy but Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed said the “PDP legislators cannot definitely reconvene the House before the December 3 date fixed by Speaker Tambuwal”.
Unlawfully reconvene the House
The PDP had asked Tambuwal to do the needful after his defection to the APC on Tuesday, October 28.
Tambuwal’s security personnel were also withdrawn by the Police Inspector General, a move that the APC said was aimed at exposing the Speaker to possible attack.
The APC had three days ago alleged that President Goodluck Jonathan was plotting, alongside PDP lawmakers, to reconvene the House in violation of laid down procedures.
“We reject this meddling in the affairs of the Legislature especially given the resolution of President Jonathan and his close advisers yesterday at their meeting to ask the Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha to unlawfully reconvene the House before the adjourned date,” the party had said in a statement by its spokesperson, Lai Mohammed.
“May we remind President Goodluck Jonathan that under the House Rules, only a resolution by all principal officers of the House and not even the Speaker of the House can reconvene the House before the adjourned date not to talk of the Deputy Speaker.”
The spokesperson of the House, Zakari Mohammed, had on Sunday also said the lawmaking body cannot cut short its recess without the express approval of its speaker, Mr. Tambuwal.
Premium Times reports that loyalists of President Goodluck Jonathan and the ruling PDP had planned to to reconvene the House before its scheduled resumption date of December 3.
An early resumption is reportedly being proposed to execute the removal of Mr. Tambuwal as Speaker of the PDP-majority House.
After Mr. Tambuwal defected to the opposition, his security details were controversially withdrawn.
In his statement, Mr. Mohammed clarified the legal procedure to reconvene the House before December 3.
The court will continue hearing on the matter on Friday.