Judge withdraws from suit seeking to remove Speaker Tambuwal from office

A Federal High Court judge, E.S. Chukwu, on Tuesday withdrew from a suit seeking to compel the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, to vacate office following his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Mr. Tambuwal had in October defected from the PDP – on whose platform he contested election into the House of Representatives in 2011 — to the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC.

A member of the House of Representatives, Abiodun Akinlade, had sued the speaker, seeking an order to declare his seat vacant.

Mr. Akindlade also prayed the court to issue an order for the Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, to take over the position of speaker of the House of Representatives.

The matter was consequently assigned to Justice Chukwu.

But before the matter could be heard, Mr. Tambuwal filed a petition with the National Judicial Council, NJC, on November 30, challenging the assignment of the case to Mr. Chukwu.

The speaker had requested that the suit be transferred to a “neutral” judge because of the likelihood of bias that could prevent him from getting justice.

The petition reads in part, “My attention has been drawn to the above suit, which has been assigned to Court 8, presided over by Justice E. S.J. Chukwu, and we wish to make the following observations:

“Sometime in 2013, the said presiding judge, Justice E.S.J. Chukwu presided over the case of Peoples Democratic Party and 12 ORS VS. INEC & 4 ORS, wherein he made a judicial pronouncement, which has been interpreted by some, to the effect that there was no division in Peoples Democratic Party.

“The above decision of Justice Chukwu was heavily relied upon and cited severally in the case of Peoples Democratic Party, House of Representatives; the speaker of the House of Representatives & 52 ORS, suit No: FHC/ ABJ/CS/4/2014.

“Consequently, Justice A.F.A Ademola, relying on the said judgment of his brother, Justice Chukwu, even though the said suit before him had nothing to do with defection, ruled that there was no division within the Peoples Democratic Party.

“And as such, the defendants in that case, who are members of the House of Representatives, who have similar cases as mine, currently pending in the Federal High Court Abuja, were not protected by proviso to Section 68(1), (g) of the 1999 Constitution.

“He rested his decision on that earlier judgement of Justice Chukwu aforementioned. The said judgment of Justice A.F.A Ademola, is subject of four pending appeals at the Court of Appeal, Abuja Judicial Division.

“My Lord, similar suits were variously instituted by various parties and are pending before the Federal High Court No. 7, presided over by Justice A.R Mohammed and are at various stages of proceeding pending before Court 7, presided over by Justice A.R Mohammed.”

Tambuwal further averred he does not have confidence that Justice Chukwu will dispense justice in the new case since he had earlier “made a pronouncement on similar issue, in similar case, decided by him, which clearly shows that he has an iron cast judicial position or opinion in respect of suit No: FHC/ABJ/ CS/871/2014 concerning me, Sir, which has just been assigned to him.”

The speaker urged the President of the Federal High Court, Ibrahim Auta, to re-assign the suit to “a neutral judge who has not made any judicial pronouncement on the issue or made public, his own opinion on the issue at hand.”

However, when the matter came up Tuesday, Mr. Chukwu announced his withdrawal from the suit on the ground that a petition has been written against him.


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  • Tufiakwa

    The chameleon and cockroach Tambuwhatever chooses his own court, judge, when and how to mess with Nigeria because he is “born to rule.”

    • Aminu

      And you are born to destroy what others built since 1914 with your Biafran or Niger Delta mentality

  • Tambuwal, we are all human, but we thank God for given us reasoning sense on which laws are made for people to respect each other and have good night sleep and wake up robust and proud… is good to be flagella when young for position and name… but there always a price to pay – the devils are aware of it.

  • truth

    Akinlade is an example of POT calling KETTLE black. so, he has forgotten that he rode on the back of APC to get to the national assembly now, he is calling for the sack of the speaker and in extenton his seat to be declare vacant.
    so, if his seat is declare vacabt what about Akinlade’s ooo pardone me he is in the PDP (RULING PARTY) where hen you defect there you are a sait.

    • Cypo

      Sorry, Akinlade was elected under ACN and not APC. There was nothing like APC in 2011 National election. get your facts right before you comment.

      • truth

        Mister ‘FACT’, can u ask you some questions before I reply you? 1) which party formed APC? 2) when did he declare for PDP? please, reason very well before u comment on issues

        • Kamal Kamoru

          Oga, go read the constitution. It allows for defection if the party a member belonged to merges with others to form a new party. In such a case, the member is at liberty to leave.
          I can assure u Tambuwal being a lawyer(unless a quota system lawyer) knows he has a BAD CASE! That is why he will twist and turn and try all manner of technical delays to stall. Unfortunately, he is struggling in quicksand..sinking lower with each movement.
          After all said and done, He will cripple activities in the house for his selfish reasons..and ultimately leave in disgrace.
          The ‘koko’ of the matter which he knows only too well is: THERE WAS NO DIVISION IN THE PDP AT THE TIME OF HIS DEFECTION!

        • Cypo

          What did the 1999 Federal Constitution as amended said about defection of an elected member of the National Parliament and House of Assembly members? APC was formally registered in August 2013 from ACN, CPC and ANPP. In 2011 national elections, the 3 parties contested as separate political parties. Akinlade was elected under ACN in 2011, and the Constitution position on defection said, an elected member of the parliament can defect from his former party (and that is the party under platform he/she was elected) on account of “Merger, loss of Party name and identity”. Akinlade was elected in 2011 under ACN and in 2013 ACN merged with other parties to form APC, thus: ACN lost its name, identity and its constitutional recognition. So, get yourself properly educated on any issue before you make your comment.

  • Mr. Abdin

    It seems the Judge has done the right thing.

  • BABUYANMA

    Judge Chukwu, the biafrian who will do anything for MONEY.

    • Cypo

      Remove your ethnicphobia and face facts. Using ethnic mindset cannot take you to anywhere.

  • taewo

    The Nigerian judiciary is finished. No one trust them again!

  • Strong System

    Judiciary is the problem of Naija.
    How can someone, even if drunk, says that there’s is no division in PDP?
    Even right now that the Barage faction has since move to APC,there’s division everywhere -Cross Rivers, Enugu,Oyo,Ebonyi,Bayelsa and many others.