Court reserves judgment on Saraki, Ekweremadu as Senate’s helmsmen

FILE PHOTO: Most seats empty as Senate President Bukola Saraki enters the chamber

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday reserved judgment in a case challenging the election of senators Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu as Senate President and Deputy Senate President respectively.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola made the pronouncement after counsel to the parties adopted their written addresses.

Four senators, Abu Ibrahim, Kabir Marafa, Robert Boroffice and Sulieman Hunkuyi, filed the suit challenging the process that led to the elections of the two principal officers.

The clerk of the National Assembly and that of the Senate were also listed as respondents.

The plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that the Senate Standing Order 2011 (as amended) was the valid and subsisting Standing Order of the 8th Senate.

They are also seeking declaration that the Senate Standing Order 2015 (as amended) not being a product of any legitimate amendment pursuant to the extant provision of rule 110 of Senate Order, was illegal.

They also want a declaration that the election of Messrs. Saraki and Ekweremadu as president and deputy senate president pursuant to the Senate Standing Order 2015, was illegal.

The plaintiffs, therefore, prayed the court to hold that the processes were carried out contrary to the provisions of Rule 3 (3) (e) and (k) and Chapter Two of the Senate Standing Order 2011 (as amended).

Consequently, they sought an order setting aside the purported elections of the two most senior principal officers.

They had further sought an order directing the 8th Senate to elect a presiding officer in accordance with the provision of Section 54 (1) of the constitution.

They urged the court to order the Senate to comply with Rules 3(3) (e) (i) and (k) of the Senate Standing Order of 2011 (as amended) forthwith.

Furtherance to the reliefs, Mamman Ousman, SAN, counsel to the plaintiff held that his clients had the “locus standi” to institute the action.

According to him, the plaintiffs are citizens of the country charged with the responsibility to defend breaches of the country’s constitution.

He also submitted that the plaintiffs were senators that were directly affected negatively by the “shoddy” process and outcome of the election.

On the jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit, Mr. Ousman said the legislative immunity of the National Assembly did not extend to violation of the Senate Rules and the Constitution.

“The court has the power to interfere when statutorily laid down procedure of doing an act is breached. In fact, the constitution does not provide for legislative immunity.

“The legislative immunity is provided by legislative Act. This Act only relates to spoken words and written words.

“Meanwhile, the complaint relates to a particular period preceding the session of the plenary that the act was done,” he said.

On his part, Kayode Aleja, SAN, counsel to Mr. Saraki and Clerk of the Senate, said the plaintiffs were interlopers and therefore, lacked the requisite jurisdiction to initiate the suit.

Mr. Aleja said “it will amount to interference should the court arrogates jurisdiction to itself to decide this matter”.
Arguing on a point of law, Mr. Aleja said counsel to the plaintiffs misappropriated fact and law to submit that the Senate Standing Order had the flavour of the Constitution.

“The suit is simply a complaint that focuses on the alleged breach of the Senate Rules and has nothing to do with the Constitution.

“The Senate Standing Order is a document that regulates activities of the Senate and this is subject to change or amendment as they progress. It remains a distinct rule,” he said.

NAN reports that Ikechukwu Ezechukwu, SAN, counsel to Mr. Ekweremadu, in aligning himself to Mr. Aleja’s submission, said the Senate Standing Order was made pursuant to the constitution.

However, he said the document remained an independent set of rules that must not be subjected to test by the court.

“Any attempt to do this will mean the usurpation of the power of the legislative arm of government by another arm. The court must refuse the invitation to do this,” he said.

NAN reports that Nancy Odimegwu, counsel to the Clerk of the National Assembly aligned herself with the submissions of both Messrs. Aleja and Ezechukwu.

She, therefore, urged the court to dismiss the, suit against her client for lack of merit.



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  • blow fissh

    Why are we deceiving ourselves? It is obvious how the barawo Adeniyi Ademola is going to rule.

    • Holy truth

      He is one d judges on saraki’s payroll, we obviously know where d judgement is going to go.

  • eclub

    This is Nonjusticiable.
    The Senate chooses their own leaders.

    • tundemash

      Mr. career Liar, is that what the court case is about ? Read again when you are not with the bottle.

  • Darlington

    Ekweremadu/Saraki have come to stay.

    • Nche Bikwe

      You think so? Allow the judiciary to be done first..

    • tundemash

      Yeah right, you are used to fraud!

      • Okanlawon Abayomi Isaac


    • Okanlawon Abayomi Isaac


  • tunde008

    It is the judge that is on trial here.It will make or break him

    • Nche Bikwe

      Exactly, though this seems quite difficult but he just needs to do the right thing, Nigerians have now being treated of the amnesia which it once suffered and will always remind one his/her deeds in future.

  • Mama Kay

    With Justice Ademola, justice goes to the highest bidder. Nobody should hold their breathe about the case. This judge is known for ridiculous judgements. I wonder who is worse, this Ademola whose grandfather was chased out of Abeokuta or Awokunlehin. Unscrupulous judges who only care about money and not their legacy.

  • taiwo

    SAI BUKKY! SAI SARAKI! ! SAI OLOYE!!! we dey ur back fully. No shaking baba

  • Otile

    Every yoruba and their mothers will now find their voice to talk, but when the Islamists wreak havoc in the North they shy away. The question is: why do yorubas shy away from the slaughter in Sudaniyya? Are they afraid of offending your Fulani masters?