Court nullifies Jibrin’s suspension, warns House

Abdulmumin Jibrin
Abdulmumin Jibrin

An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has nullified the suspension of a member of the House of Representatives, Abdulmumin Jibrin.

Mr Jibrin was suspended in September 2016 after he exposed alleged budget fraud by the speaker of the house, Yakubu Dogara, and other top members.

Mr Jibrin had accused the leadership of the house of padding the 2016 budget with fraudulent figures created for the benefit of Mr Dogara and his allies.

No anti graft agency probed the allegations. Mr Jibrin was later suspended for 180 legislative days based on the recommendation of Nicholas Ossai-House Ethics committee.

Although Mr Jibrin has since resumed sitting, he continued his legal battle against his suspension resulting in Thursday’s ruling.

Mr Jibrin had instituted a fundamental rights suit alleging an abuse of his rights to freedom of expression and demanding the nullification of his suspension.

Delivering a ruling on the motion on Thursday, the judge, John Tsoho, ruled that Mr Jibrin’s application was meritorious and that his suspension amounted to a nullity.

The judge said the actions of Mr Jibrin were in conformity with his constitutional responsibilities as a member of the house.

He condemned the house for suspending the lawmaker, describing the suspension as an “abuse of democracy”.

Mr Tsoho also ordered the immediate restoration of Mr Jibrin’s earnings during the period of his suspension.

“The suspension was an interruption of his earnings which will be automatically restored especially when it has been decided that the action was a nullity by virtue of granting prayers 1 and 3 of the originating summons,” he said.

“When an action is declared nullity it is deemed that it never happened.”

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