NBA Warns Reps Against Disobeying Court Order On Leadership Change

House of RepsThe Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) yesterday urged the House of Representatives not to disobey the order of the Federal High Court, Abuja, restraining it from changing its leadership.

The court presided over by Justice Adeniyi Ademola, on Monday, ordered parties in a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the House leadership to maintain the status quo ante pending the determination of the suit.

The NBA, in a statement yesterday, said the order remained valid and must be obeyed by all parties until it is set aside.

It also hailed the leadership of both chambers of the National Assembly for exhibiting a good sense of purpose and responsibility in their welcome addresses to their members.

The association implored the legislators to focus on their core responsibility of law-making and dwell less on politicking.

The NBA said: “We are concerned about the language of some honourable members of the House of Representatives at a press conference that followed later in the day, with a member of the Bar threatening that the order of court would be obeyed up and until the next court date in February when, according to him, the court must determine the whole matter. We have found this rather very impudent.

“We are alarmed at such a statement from a member of the Bar to a court. We want to believe that that was a slip that would never be repeated, because the NBA will not hesitate to take disciplinary actions against its members, in or out of government, whose actions or utterances are considered disrespectful to a court of law.

“The Bar must, at all times, protect the integrity and dignity of the courts. Whoever is dissatisfied with a court order, has a responsible option of bringing another application to have the order under reference set aside by the same court or go to the Court of Appeal.

“Politics must give way to the serious business of law making in the hallowed chambers of the National Assembly, which is a matter of responsibility, the legislature being the hallmark of any democracy.

“We particularly commend the maturity and dexterity exhibited by our professional colleague, the honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Waziri Aminu Tambuwal, in dousing the unnecessary disorder caused by what the Rt. Honourable Speaker stainly referred to, as an expensive New Year joke, and an attempt in surreptitiously disregarding a valid and subsisting order of court, that status quo be maintained with regards to the leadership positions of the House of Representatives, pending the hearing and determination of the pending motion on notice”.

 

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  • This restraining order by the court has violated the principle of separation of powers as enshrined in the Nigeria constitution.How can a court prevent another organ of government from carrying out its duties in the course of it legislative function?This is tantamount to asking the president not to sack any of the army chiefs like he recently.To me this is an unpopular judgement that was reached in error.The court to me should have allowed the house to performed it functions as enabled by the constitution,then any aggrieved party can then go the court for a redress.Just like what happened recently at the labor court that declared the sacking the Gusau or rathe Gwadu illegal.

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