The Senate Unity Forum on Wednesday distanced itself from the purported withdrawal of a suit alleging that the Senate Standing Orders, used for the June 9 election of the Senate President and his deputy, were forged.
Senators under the aegis of the forum, who filed a suit at a Federal High Court in Abuja are, among other things, seeking for the nullification of the election of Senators Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu as Senate President and Deputy Senate President, respectively.
Counsel for the SUF, Mamman Mike Osuman (SAN), described reports that his clients had withdrawn the suit as “erroneous and mischievous”.
In a signed statement in Abuja, on Wednesday, Osuman explained that while the suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/647/2015, dated July 24, wherein “the purported election of Saraki and Ekweremadu was challenged”, which was filed by Senator Anthony Adeniyi, a member of the 7th Senate, had been withdrawn, the suit filed by his clients who are serving senators subsists.
Osuman pointed out that oblivious of the existence of Adeniyi’s particularised suit, his clients briefed him to file a civil suit in court with an originating summons: FHC/ABJ/CS/651/2015.
“The above particularised suit differs in contents as can be distilled from their respective grounds, reliefs sought, affidavit evidence, parties and declarations sought”, he said.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria argued that the suit filed by serving senators, including Suleiman Hunkuyi, Kabir Garba Marafa, Abu Ibrahim, Robert Ajayi Boroffice and Gbenga Ashafa, had not been withdrawn.
The statement partly read, “Despite the legal possibility that the suit discontinued could be re-filed, the media should have been more specific about the case withdrawn.
“Contrary to the misinformation put out there, we hereby confirm the originating summons in suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/651/2015 filed at the instance of the above-named senators against Saraki, Ekweremadu and the National Assembly”.
Osuman insisted that the prayers sought in the originating summons still persisted; “which is that the elections which brought Saraki and Ekweremadu are illegal, irregular and non-sustainable because the Senate Standing Orders (2011) was not amended in the manner stipulated by Rules 110 of the 2011 Senate Standing Orders to produce the purported document titled, Senate Standing Orders 2015 (as amended)”.
It would be recalled that the Senate on Tuesday, commended the Unity Forum for withdrawing the suit challenging Saraki and Ekweremadu’s election, saying by their action, the senators had demonstrated that national interests supersede individual and group interests.
The spokesman for the senate, Dino Melaye, in a statement issued to reporters in Abuja, said “On behalf of the Senate, we want to commend the maturity of the Senate Unity Group and Like Minds Group. We appreciate that by withdrawing the suit, national interest has overcome individual and group interests.
“I salute the sagacity of the Senate Unity Forum for withdrawing the matter from the court. This is as a result of series of underground reconciliatory moves. I salute the sense of purpose of both groups.
“By this very positive development, the divisive elements who wanted to bring the 8th Senate to ridicule have been completely shamed”.