Jibrin seeks N1bn as damages for his suspension as he withdraws suit against Dogara, others

imagesSuspended Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Jibrin Abdulmumin, on Friday, withdrew the legal action he instituted against Speaker of the House, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, over alleged budget padding.
Jubrin had dragged Dogara and 13 other lawmakers before the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, alleging that they surreptitiously padded the 2016 budget with about N40billion.
He told the court that his colleagues were plotting to implicate and make him “a scapegoat” after he revealed how N40bn out of N100bn allocated to the entire National Assembly, was diverted.
He specifically fingered Dogara and three principal officers of the House as those he said were behind the alleged budget fraud.
In an affidavit deposed to by an aide at the House of Reps, Mr. Bashir Bello, the plaintiff, told the court that trouble started after he confronted Dogara with statistics of 2,000 new projects that were injected into the Appropriation Bill by less than 10 Committee Members.
He said Dogara and the others had earlier failed to persuade him, as Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, “to admit into the National Budget the sum of about N30billlion”.
Cited as 1st to 14th defendants in the suit were the House of Reps, Clerk of the House, Dogara, Deputy Speaker, Hon. Yusuf Lasun, Chief Whip, Alhassan Doguwa and the Minority Leader, Leo Ogor.
Other lawmakers sued by Jubrin included Herman Hembe, Umar Mohammed Bago, Zakari Mohammed, Chike Okafor, Dan Asuquo, Jagaba Adams, Haliru Jika and Uzoma Abonta.
However, at the resumed sitting on Friday, Jibrin who is currently under suspension, through his lawyer, Mr. Chukwuma Nwachukwu, notified the court of his intention to discontinue further hearing on the matter.
Following an application by his lawyer, Justice John Tsoho accordingly struck out the suit.
In another twist however, Jubrin, said he has filed a fresh suit to challenge his suspension from the House, even as he has prayed the high court to award N1bn against Dogara and Clerk of the House of Reps as punitive and general damages for his suspension.
He is equally praying the court to declare that his suspension amounted to a violation of his fundamental human right to freedom of expression.
As well as to declare that the resolution the House passed to suspend him, was in breach of section 68 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
Besides, Jibrin wants the court to issue an order of injunction restraining the House of Reps from preventing him from participating in the Committees of the House or accessing the legislative chambers to perform his legislative duties.
Already, the court has fixed the fresh suit for hearing on November 22.
It will be recalled that Dogara and the 13 other defendants had on September 30, asked the court to decline jurisdiction to hear Jubrin’s suit which they branded as “frivolous and vexatious”.

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