APC cautions against using judiciary to stop leadership change in National Assembly

The APC chided the PDP for asking the court to stop the leadership change in NASS.

The All Progressives Congress, APC, has accused the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, of planning to use the judiciary to stop an impending leadership change in the National Assembly. The opposition party described the alleged plan as an abuse of court process.

The defection of 37 members of the PDP in the House of Representatives to the APC made the opposition become the majority party. The PDP then sued the leadership of the House asking the court to stop it from undertaking any change of principal officers.

“Apart from the fact that the sole plaintiff in the case, the PDP, is incompetent and an interloper, the action itself is an abuse of court process, since there is a pending and subsisting order of the same Federal High Court in Abuja between the two parties,” APC said in a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed.

Mr. Mohammed said the attempt to use the judiciary, which is one arm of government, to stop another arm of government from performing its constitutional duty, is illegal since the principle of separation of powers as upheld by the Supreme Court forbids an arm of government from interfering with the functions of another arm.

The party said what the PDP is attempting to do is akin to the APC seeking to use the judiciary to stop President Goodluck Jonathan from reshuffling his cabinet or firing a cabinet minister.

APC said the PDP should have waited until an action has been taken and then go to court to nullify it rather than stopping such action from taking place.

“Any order of a lower court purporting to stop members of the National Assembly from attending the House or conducting any proceedings or voting is incompetent, illegal and contrary to the well-established jurisprudence enunciated by the Supreme Court,” the party said.

The party said it had earlier alerted Nigerians of the plan by the PDP and the presidency to use pliant judges to obtain illegal court orders to stop the change in the legislature. The APC warned politicians not to drag the judiciary into politics, saying such “will be a throwback to the better-forgotten days of Abacha.

“As for the judiciary, we are confident that our judicial officers will not allow themselves to be used for selfish, political end as they have judicial aspirations to pursue and their good names to protect,” the APC said.

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