An FCT High Court, Jabi, on Monday fixed January 22 to deliver judgment on enforcement of rights’ suit filed by the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, against the Senate.
The suit listed the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, Senators Isah Misau, Francis Alimikhena, Binta Garba and Suleiman Hunkuyi as respondents.
The rest are Senators Duro Samuel, Ogba Obinna, Nelson Effiong and Abdulaziz Nyako.
The 4th to the 10th respondents were members of the ad-hoc committee that sat on the complaint of financial misappropriation in the police made by the third respondent (Mr. Misau).
The applicant is seeking a declaration that the investigative activities of the ad-hoc committee breached his rights as the head of the police force.
He is also seeking for a declaration that his invitation to appear before the ad-hoc committee based on Misau’s petition was also a violation of his rights and disregard to justice.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that all the respondents had yet to appear in court over the suit.
The Presiding Judge, Abba-Bello Muhammad, had on November 16, ruled that the respondents be served by substituted means in two national dailies.
The judge’s decision was hinged on testimony of the court bailiff, Bako James, who on November 9 described how difficult it was to serve the lawmakers at the National Assembly.
At the resumed hearing on Monday, neither the respondents nor their counsel were in court.
Earlier, Alex Izinyon, counsel to the applicant, had informed the court that the respondents were served through substituted means as ordered by the court.
“My Lord, the applicant was able to carry out the court order by publishing the processes in two national dailies with Dec.4 as hearing date.
“Publication of all the court papers was done in the Sun and Leadership Newspapers on November 22.
“My Lord, between November 22 and now, it was sufficient enough for the respondents to file their responses if they had regards for the court,’’ he said.
Mr. Izinyon prayed the court to hold that his client complied with the order of court.
He said it was time for the applicant to be allowed to move his prayers for the enforcement of his fundamental human rights.
According to Mr. Izinyon, the court has been gracious and magnanimous to give such a huge reprieve to the respondents in the interest of justice, which is, however, not appreciated.
The judge after hearing the prayer of the applicant’s counsel granted him the permission to move the application.
Mr. Izinyon said the application was filed on November 6, and supported with five paragraph affidavit and grounds which the application should be granted.
He said the application was brought pursuant to Section 36(1) of the Nigerian Constitution.
Mr. Izinyon argued that the above portion of the constitution forbade the resolutions of the ad- hoc committee without recourse to the applicant’s defence.
He also prayed the court to declare that the activities of the committee were premeditated and illegal, adding that the senate lacked the powers to investigate alleged graft petitions.
Mr. Izinyon said Mr. Misau ought to have written his petition to the EFCC or ICPC, adding that those were the bodies set up by law to investigate and prosecute graft allegations.
He also said the petitioner (Mr. Misau) failed to appear before similar committee set up by the police to look at the allegations.
NAN recalls that Mr. Misau had alleged that the police received payments running into billions of naira from companies and rich individuals before assigning police guards to them.
The police, however, denied the allegations, as according to the applicant, the force was not set up to generate revenue.