A federal high court sitting in Kano on Monday commenced proceedings on the suit filed by members of Kano state house of assembly challenging their alleged illicit suspension by the speaker of the house, Rt Hon Abdulazeez Gafasa.
The plaintiffs, Isiyaku Ali Danja, Salisu Ahmed Gwangwazo, Labaran Abdul Madari, Garba Yau Gwarmai, and Muhammad Bello Butu Butu had approached the court, urging it to revoke their suspension from legislative duties, noting that the procedure invoked in suspending them violated their fundamental rights.
The plaintiffs told the court that the leadership of the state house of assembly failed to comply with the rules bordering on fair hearing, when their suspension from the state assembly was announced on Monday 16th March 2020.
The lawmakers who were accused of flagrantly disregarding the rules of the house and were allegedly suspended from the house of assembly told the court that prior to their suspension, they were not allowed or accorded the opportunity to state their own side of the matter before verdict was passed on them by the leadership of the house.
The lawmakers, who represent Gezawa, Warawa, Municipal, Riming Gado/Tofa, and Bichi/ Tsanyawa state constituencies informed the court that the procedure that led to their suspension from the state assembly was in outright contrast to the provisions of section 36 of 1999 constitution as amended.
The counsel representing the plaintiffs, Nuraini Jimoh, in suit No FHC/KN/CS/77/2020 said the Speaker, Kano state house of assembly and the hierarchy of the state legislature through their actions had infringed on the rights of the people of the affected constituents as provided for in the African charter on the Peoples Rights to representation.
Counsel to the defendants, M. N. Duru challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter, while opposing the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs to amend their earlier prayers.
The court presided by Justice Lewis Allagoa overruled the objection raised by the defendants, and also granted the plaintiffs the reliefs sought to make an amendment to their originating applications and then further granted the plaintiffs’ request for an extension of time .
The matter was adjourned to May 21st 2020 for continuation.