The Abuja Federal High Court presided over by Justice Okon Abang on Wednesday refused to hear two separate suits filed by Abdulmumin Jibrin over budget padding allegation.
The former Chairman, Appropriation Committee, House of Representatives, had in relation to his travails, which followed the crisis of allegation of criminal padding of the budget by Speaker Yakubu Dogara and other principal officers of the lower legislative chamber filed two cases in court.
But Justice Abang, who is presently sitting as a vacation judge, denied hearing the suit on the ground that the plaintiff failed to obtain the court’s leave to have his cases heard during the ongoing vacation.
The rules of the court is that a plaintiff who files a suit during court’s vacation have to file an ex parte motion to prove to the judge that his or her suit is a matter of urgency and demands speedy hearing.
Mr. Abdulhamid Mohammed, Dogara’s lawyer prayed the court to hear him out on the two cases which were both listed for hearing, but Justice Abang, the presiding judge, refuted the request, holding that the counsel failed to comply with the court’s rules.
“A matter filed during court vacation is not heard as a matter of cause. The applicant is expected to apply and obtain the leave of court to have his matter heard during the court vacation in line with the provisions of Order 46 Rule 5 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2009. I so hold.
“This applicant did not do so. I do not have jurisdiction to even grant an adjournment of this suit. It is expected that the applicant will do the needful to comply with the provisions of the rules of this court,” Abang ruled as he refused to hear the first case.
Jibrin, through his lawyer, had filed the suit FHC/ABJ/CS/595/2016, seeking court order to stop Speaker Dogara, his Deputy, Yusuf Lasun and other principal officers of the lower chamber from their alleged plan to suspend him from the House.
In another suit FHC/ABJ/CS/595/2016, which is for the enforcement of his fundamental human rights, Jibrin sued the Police, the Inspector-General of Police, the Commissioner of Police, FCT Command, Dogara, and other principal officers of the House as well as the Attorney-General of the Federation.
He had asked the court to give order stopping the respondents from violating his rights in the course of investigation of the alleged budget fraud.
By Ebere Ndukwu …
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