After 20 months, Court Voids Jibrin's Suspension, Orders Repayment Of His Salaries
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has upturned the suspension of Abdulmumin Jibrin, lawmaker representing Bebeji/Kiru Constituency of Kano State, by the House of Representatives.
In September 2016, Jibrin was suspended for 180 legislative days (the equivalent of a year) after he accused Yakubu Dogara, the Speaker, and other principal officers of attempting to pad N30 billion projects into the budget.
Just before his suspension, the lawmaker was Chairman of the lower chamber’s Appropriations Committee.
He was recalled in March 2018 — after serving way longer than the duration of the suspension — but that was after he had filed a suit asking the court to declare his suspension unconstitutional.
His wish was finally granted on Thursday, with John Tsoho, the presiding judge, also ordering the lower chamber to pay him all the salaries due to him for the period he was suspended.
“The suspension was an interruption of his earning, which will be automatically restored especially when it has been decided that the action was a nullity by virtue of granting prayers 1 and 3 of the originating summons,” Tsoho said.
“When an action is declared nullity it is deemed that it never happened.”
He said Jibrin was only fulfilling his lawful mandate as a member of the lower legislative chamber and thus, the suspension was unwarranted.
“There is no better conclusion that the plaintiff was carrying out the mandate imposed on members by chapter 7 (7.5) of the Code of Conduct for honourable members adopted on November 4, 2004,” the judge added.
Responding to the judgement, Jibrin wrote on Twitter: “Today after 20 months of legal battle the FHC presided by justice John Tsoho declared my suspension unconstitutional, null and void and has no effect whatsoever.
“I thank my constituents, lawyers lead by Femi Falana SAN and Ahmed Raji SAN and every one that supported us. God bless.”
Jibrin’s victory follows a similar pattern in recent times for suspended lawmakers.
In November 2017, a Federal High Court in Abuja voided the suspension Ali Ndume, representing Borno South Senatorial District, describing the action as an “exhibition of lawlessness” by the lawmakers.
Also, Ovie Omo-Agege, a Delta Central Senator, had his own suspension nullified by the court last week.