Lawmakers’ defection: Court adjourns to Feb 18

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has adjourned to February 18, 2014, for the continuation of hearing in the suit instituted by some lawmakers, majority of whom are PDP members.
Following the court’s order to serve court processes on the 3rd respondent (Speaker of the House of Representatives), last week, Justice Ahmed Mohammed gave Tambuwal’s counsel a week within which to file his response.
The judge’s order last week was informed by complaints from most lawyers in the case, including plaintiffs’ lawyer, Mahmud Magaji that they had difficulties serving Tambuwal with court processes.
The inability of other parties, particularly the plaintiff, to serve Tambuwal stalled move by Joe Kyari Gadzama, lawyer to PDP and its ex-Chairman, Bamaga Tukur, to argue his application seeking the reversal of the defection of some former PDP lawmakers to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Gadzama’s application, seeking the nullification of the defection, was principally hinged on the argument that the defection took place after the court had ordered the parties to maintain status quo pending the determination of the case.
He had argued that the constant threat by some Senators, who were parties in the case, to also defect, was because the court failed to take action against those who defected after its order for the maintenance of status quo.
The suit was instituted late last year by some members of the National Assembly, including 22 PDP Senators and 57 members of the House of Representatives, including those who had defected to the APC.
Defendants in the suit are Tukur, Mark, Tambuwal, PDP and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

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