Abuja Federal High Court, presided over by Justice John Tsoho, on Thursday ruled on the matter between former chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, and the House of Representatives.
In his judgment, Justice Tsoho described as unconstitutional the 180-legislative-day suspension imposed by the House on Jibrin.
The House had on September 28, 2016, suspended Jibrin following his allegation that Speaker Yakubu Dogara, and other principal officers of the House padded the 2016 budget with about N40 billion.
Unhappy with his suspension, Jibrin had dragged the House to court on the argument that the action of the lower chamber of the National Assembly was illegal.
Ruling on the matter on Thursday, Justice Tsoho held that the suspension of the legislator was unconstitutional. He therefore ordered the House to pay him all the salary due to him for the period he was illegally suspended.
“The suspension was an interruption of his earning which will be automatically restored especially when it has been decided that the action was a nullity by virtue of granting prayers 1 and 3 of the originating summons.
“When an action is declared nullity it is deemed that it never happened,” the judge held.
Despite the fact that the House had since recalled Jibrin, the lawmaker from Kano State had insisted in prosecuting his fundamental human rights enforcement suit challenging his suspension.
And in his judgment on the matter, Justice Tsoho upheld the argument of Jibrin ’s lawyer, Femi Falana ( SAN ), that the action of Jibrin was a lawful one, and that suspending him because of it was an attempt to gag him .
“There is no better conclusion that the plaintiff was carrying out the mandate imposed on members by Chapter 7 ( 7 . 5 ) of the Code of Conduct for Honourable Members adopted on November 4, 2004,” Justice Tsoho said.
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