A Federal High Court in Abuja presided over by Justice Gabriel Kolawole yesterday refused to stop the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and 17 others from departing from the Senate’s standing rules in the appointment of minority leader for the eighth National Assembly.
Two members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alaye Don Pedro (Ward 8, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State) and Okechukwu Ibeh of Umukegwu/Umuopia in Ide Ato Local Government Area of Imo State, had in an ex-parte motion sought to restrain Saraki and 17 members of the PDP South-South Senate caucus from choosing the minority leader outside the provision of Order 3(2) of the Senate Standing Order 2015 (as amended).
The plaintiffs are contending that the alleged plot by some individuals to make former Akwa Ibom State governor, Godwill Akpabio (a first term senator) the Senate’s minority leader was in violation of Order 3(2) of the Senate Standing Order 2015 (as amended).
Named with Saraki as respondents in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/602/2005 are Akpabio, Nelson Effiong, Bassey Albert, Emmanuel Paulker, Ogola Foster, Ben Murray Bruce, John Owan Enoh, Gershom Bassey, Rose Oko, James Manager, Peter Nwaoboshi, Ighoyota Amori, Clifford Ordia, Mathew Urhoghide, George Thomson Sekibo, Olaka Nwogu and Osinachukwu Ideozu.
Justice Kolawole in his ruling refused the plaintiffs’ prayer for “an order restraining the second to 18 respondents from selecting or appointing the minority leader of the Senate by a procedure in breach of Order 3(2) of the Senate Standing Order 2015 (as amended), pending the determination of the substantive suit.”
The judge also refused their request for an “order prohibiting the 1st respondent from accepting, recognising, announcing or giving effect to the appointment of a Minority Leader of the Senate, whose appointment is in breach of Order 3(2) of the Senate Standing Orders 2015 (as amended) pending the determination of the substantive suit.”
Justice Kolawole, who noted that the plaintiffs were neither members of the Senate nor contestants for the position of minority leader, said he could not grant their prayers because they failed to establish the interest they sought to protect.


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