The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Tuesday, issued an order directing a hearing notice and document of the suit filed against a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, be pasted to his office at the National Assembly complex.
The judge, Okon Abang, who fixed February 5 for hearing in the case, granted the order of substituted service after the plaintiff’s lawyer, Michael Okejimi, moved his client’s ex parte application Tuesday.
The plaintiff, the United Global Resolve for Peace Organisation (UGRPO), alleged in its application that Mr Dogara had frustrated efforts to personally serve the court processes on him.
Shortly after the court ordered that Mr Dogara be served through substituted means, his lawyer, Isiaka Kadiri, told the judge that he had come to court to receive the court processes for his client.
But the judge insisted that his order of substituted service permitting the plaintiff to paste the originating summons and the hearing notice to Mr Dogara’s office was a better approach.
UGRPO, in its substantive suit, prayed for an order that Mr Dogara be sacked from the House of Representatives following his last year’s defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
A similar suit instituted against Mr Dogara by the PDP earlier came up before Mr Abang on Monday and the judge adjourned it till February 4.
Mr Dogara, who was the Speaker of the House of Representatives from June 2015 to June 2019, has been representing his Dass, Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro Federal Constituency of Bauchi State, since 2007.
He won another re-election on the platform of the PDP in 2019, but defected from the party to the APC on July 24, 2020.
The plaintiffs, in the two cases pending before Mr Abang, argued that by virtue of Section 68(1)(g) of the Nigerian Constitution, Mr Dogara should vacate his seat in the House of Representatives following his defection ”from the party that sponsored his election before the expiration of his tenure”.
UGRPO in his suit filed on August 4, 2020, prayed the court to order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to conduct a bye-election to fill the vacant seat.
Meanwhile, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other defendants in the suit are: the PDP, APC, Speaker of the House of Representatives, INEC, and the Attorney General of the Federation sued as the 2nd to 6th defendants, respectively.
Before adjourning the case till February 5, Mr Abang ordered the hearing notice be issued and served on the five other defendants.
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