Nigerian govt. pledges not to undermine Tambuwal’s office

Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja again on Friday, ruled that status quo should be maintained till November 17 in the suit brought by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, against the Nigerian Police Force, NPF, which withdrew his security details.

The court gave the order as the Federal Government through Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, and the Inspector General of Police, Suleman Abba, pledged not to do anything that would undermine the Office of the Speaker.

It did not, however, make any categorical asking the police to reinstate the Speaker’s security aides as it was silent on it.

Mr. Tambuwal had last Friday challenged the withdrawal of his security aides following his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, from the All Progressives Congress, APC.

He had also asked the court to restrain the PDP from impeaching him as Speaker.

The court had ruled on Monday that Mr. Tambuwal remained the Speaker and directed the National Chairman of the PDP, Adamu Mu’azu and others not to reconvene the House, at least, until November 7.

The Speaker had decamped to the APC on October 28 while the police withdrew his security details the following day.

Defending the action in a statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu, the IGP said the security personnel were withdrawn because of his defection from the party on whose platform he was elected into the lower legislative chamber.

In the latest ruling, Justice Ahmed Mohammed said he issued the order maintaining the status quo based on the verbal undertakings by the counsel to the defendants not to do anything that would undermine the matter of the case.

“Parties are on agreement that the res should not be tampered with. The plaintiffs are satisfied by the undertakings granted the defendants not to tamper with the res. The lone issue now is the security of the plaintiff,” the judge said.

“On the issue of jurisdiction, the court has power to determine whether or not it has jurisdiction. The preliminary objections will be taking together with the substantive case. Parties are hereby directed to maintain the status quo pending the hearing of the suit and the preliminary objections.”

Before the ruling, Lateef Fagbemi, who led 67 other lawyers to defend Mr. Tambuwal pleaded with the court to grant the interim orders of injunction to restrain the Federal Government from threatening him as Speaker and as a member of the lower house.

However, the defendants objected to the request, saying it was unnecessary since they did not do anything to destroy the res since Monday when the court gave the order to maintain status quo and would not still do anything.

Mr. Tambuwal attended Friday’s court session, accompanied by supporters and aides.


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