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Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Two APC Reps sue Dogara over leadership crisis

  John Ameh, Abuja   

The leadership tussle in the House of Representatives has crossed over to the courts, as two All Progressives Congress members have sued the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara.
Joined in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/625/2015, filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, are the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Yusuf Lasun; and the Clerk to the House, Mr. Mohammed Sani-Omolori.
The members, Mr. Abubakar Lado-Abdullahi from Niger State; and Mr. Olajide Abdul-Jimoh from Lagos State, are praying the court to restrain the defendants from stopping the announcement of the names of principal officers recommended by the leadership of the APC.
In their prayers, the members argued, “it is an indisputable fact that the positions in question are party positions; that is, principal offices of the APC, albeit that they concomitantly are also principal positions within the House of Representatives.
“Consequently, the 1st and 2nd Defendants (Speaker and Deputy Speaker) shall in accordance with Article 9.2 of APC Constitution, which states, ‘members of the party shall be obligated to affirm the party’s aims and objectives’, implement the party’s aims as contained in the party’s nomination letter’.”
Findings showed that the court process was reportedly served on Dogara and the co-defendants on July 16.
A copy of the process was made available to The PUNCH about 5.26pm on Tuesday.
Specifically, the plaintiffs urged the court to determine whether Section 14 of the 1999 Constitution, dealing with the Principle of Federal Character, was applicable to the sharing of principal offices in the National Assembly.
However, when The PUNCH sought the reactions of the Speaker’s office on Tuesday, it got a “not aware” response.
His Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Hassan Turaki, simply said “not aware” in a reply to a question whether Dogara had received the court’s summons.
He declined to respond to a second question what the speaker would do about the case.
The House, which began a forced break on June 25 after fighting broke out on the floor over the sharing of the principal offices, was scheduled to resume on Today(Tuesday).
But, on Friday last week, the resumption was suddenly put off by one week without any official explanations.
However, findings indicated that the unresolved leadership tussle was the reason for the abrupt postponement of resumption.

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