The Federal Government on Friday made an undertaken not to undermine Hon. Aminu Tambuwal as the Speaker of the House of Representatives pending the hearing and determination of the suit instituted by the Speaker.
Tambuwal and his party, the All Progressive Congress, APC, had filed a suit praying the court for an interim injunction to restrain the Federal Government, the PDP, Deputy Speaker, Abba and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from removing him from office as Speaker of the House of Representatives pending the hearing and determination the suit.
At the proceedings the Speaker’s lawyer, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, a senior advocate of Nigeria, made passionate appeal to the judge to grant the interim orders of injunction to restrain the PDP and the Federal Government from threatening Tambuwal’s seat as Speaker and as a member of the Lower House but the defendants insisted that there was no need to grant an interim order saying that since 4 November when the court granted an order to maintain status quo, that they did not do anything to destroy the subject matter and would still not do anything.
The Attorney General of the Federation and the Inspector General of Police who were represented by Ade Okeanya Inneh, also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, undertook not to do anything that will undermine the office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives but also asked the court to dismiss the suit.
The court reiterated its earlier orders for the parties to maintain status quo. The trial judge, Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed premised the order to maintain status quo on verbal undertakings by the defendants’ lawyers not to do anything that would destroy the subject matter of the case.
“Parties are on agreement that the res should not be tampered with. The plaintiffs are satisfied by the undertakings granted the defendants not to tamper with the res” noted the court.
On the issue of the Speakers security details withdrawn on the orders of Abba, the court declined to make any pronouncement on the issue but reiterated that the earlier order for status quo should continue pending the determination of the suit.
The Federal Government is challenging the jurisdiction of the court in hearing the matter on the grounds that no court has jurisdiction to entertain any suit bothering on the manner of deployment of members of the Nigerian police force under the command of the IGP who is listed as the 5th defendant in the suit.
The court however pointed out that it has the jurisdiction to look into the matter and then decide whether or not it has jurisdiction to entertain it and thereafter directed that the preliminary objections filed by the defendants will be taken together with the substantive suit and adjourned further proceedings to 17 November