A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has nullified the suspension of a former Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin.
The House of Representatives had suspended Mr Jibrin for 180 legislative days on September 28, 2016. Mr Jibrin, who has served the suspension and rejoined his colleagues, had challenged the decision after his suspension.
But it wasn’t until Thursday that the court delivered judgement.
Delivering judgment in the suit, Justice John Tsoho, ruled that the suspension of the lawmaker is unconstitutional and ordered the House of Representatives to pay him all the salary due to him for the period he was unjustly 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,” he said.
“When an action is declared nullity it is deemed that it never happened.”
Jibrin had been suspended after he repeatedly accused the Speaker, Yakubu
Dogara, and other principal officers of the House of padding the 2016 budget with billions of naira, a claim they all denied.
Starting from July 2016, Jibrin had called for the removal of the principal officers and sent petitions against them to law enforcement agencies including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Justice Tsoho, however, saw things differently and agreed with Mr Jibrin’s lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) that his suspension was an attempt to gag him.
The judge said, “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.”