A Kogi State High Court sitting in Lokoja has set aside the suspension of the member representing Igalamela Odolu constituency in the state House of Assembly, Honourable Friday Sanni Makama.
Justice Henry Olusuyi in his judgement said the suspension of the lawmaker was an act of legislative insolence which will not be allowed any competent court.
He maintained that the suspension of the first defendant who came to seek redress in court is invalid, illegal and unconstitutional.
The judge noted that the claimant has the right to sue the first defendant but can only be suspended when found wanting in-house rule 37 to 39 which is not related to the case in view.
He also ordered that his entitlements as a member of the House be given to him.
Justice Olusuyi however reserved ruling on the right of the house or the party to appoint the principal officers of the house especially that of the minority leader.
While setting aside the claimant right to seek relief of judgment as the minority leader, the judge Justice Olusuyi said the house in the other relief acted outside its constitutional power.
Speaking shortly after the ruling, counsel to the plaintiff, Promise Ogbadu Esq, described the judgement as symbolic and profound.
“We still have other issue to pick which we are going to file in the court of appeal. It is very interesting that the court did not miss word insisting that the act of the assembly was not only contemptuous, it was also an act of legislative impunity and legislative irresponsibility.
“To that extent, we hope and pray that the judgment will give a profound direction to both the Kogi state House of Assembly and other legislative house in the country on the ambit of their power in relation to their members”.
“There is a point that cannot be over emphasised because every member of a legislative house is elected by his or her constituent to represent them for a fixed term. It is unacceptable for any legislative house or members to gang up and start abridging the right of citizens representative contrary to the law of the land.”
“In fact, his lordship while delivering his ruling stated in clear word that ” the act of the Kogi State House of Assembly may be likened to members of a confraternity who are taking a secret oath, and if you look at what has happened, it may not be far from that comparison.”
Meanwhile, counsel to the defendant Gabriel Saliu described the ruling as sounding.
“Unlike the blanket argument, that the house has no power to suspend its members, the judgment has clearly shown that the house has the power to issue out suspension within rule 37-39 of the house standing rule”.
Recall that Honourable Friday Sanni Makama, who was suspended on the 28th of March 2017, over alleged anti-legislative activities dragged the assembly to court challenging his suspension.