A Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday struck out an application by one prominent member of the Unity Forum of Senators, Suleiman Hunkuyi, seeking to join a suit filed by another senator, Gilbert Nnaji, who is opposed to police investigation into the alleged forgery of the Senate Standing Orders 2015.
Hunkuyi had intended to join the suit as a defendant in order to be able to oppose it.
Meanwhile, he and other four members of the Unity Forum in the Senate are still pursuing a pending suit which they filed before the court seeking the removal of Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu as Senate President and Deputy respectively, on the grounds that the Senate Standing Orders used for the conduct of their elections were forged.
But Nnaji, an Enugu-East senator, had filed his suit asking the court to stop police investigation into the forgery allegation, contending that the investigation “is inspired by a devious petition by the secretary of the Unity Forum senators, solely aimed at unjustly incriminating the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu.”
Yesterday was slated for the hearing of Hunkuyi’s application to join Nnaji’s suit, but he was absent from court and was also not represented by any lawyer.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole therefore struck out the joinder application for lack of diligent prosecution.
Also, hearing of the notice of preliminary objection filed by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, urging the court to dismiss the suit on the grounds that the plaintiff lacked locus standi, suffered setback yesterday.
The court could not hear the preliminary objection due to the complaint by the lawyer who represented the Attorney General of the Federation’s office, T. A. Gasali, that he had not been served with one of the plaintiff’s key processes.
But in response, Justice Kolawole ordered that the case file be returned to the chief judge of the Federal High Court for reassignment to another judge, because he would be completing his duties as a vacation judge on Friday.
He then adjourned the matter till October 29, when the case would have been re-assigned to another judge.
Hunkuyi and his Unity Forum were opposed to the emergence of Bukola Saraki as the Senate President and Ike Ekweremadu as the Deputy Senate President in an election conducted shortly after the proclamation of the eighth Senate on June 9.
In his joinder application struck out by the court yesterday, Hunkuyi described the alleged forgery of the Senate Standing Orders as “palpable wrongs,” adding that the integrity of the Senate would be tarnished if the allegation was not investigated and its outcome made public.