No Cause Of Action Against Bulkachuwa, Can’t Be Arrested – NASS Clerk Tells Court

Adamu Bulkachuwa, Zainab Bulkachuwa
Adamu Bulkachuwa, Zainab Bulkachuwa

Magaji Tambuwal, National Assembly (NASS) Clerk, has told the Federal High Court in Abuja that former senator, Adamu Bulkachuwa, cannot be arrested over his confessional comment that he influenced the decisions of his wife as the President of the Court of Appeal.

According to Tambuwal, Bulkachuwa enjoyed immunity from any form of proceedings in respect of words spoken or written at the plenary session.

The Clerk disclosed this in a counter-affidavit filed in response to Bulkachuwa’s suit.

Bulkachuwa in his suit had the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the NASS clerk, the State Security Service, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and the Nigeria Police Force as the first to fifth defendants.

The plaintiff requested that the court rule that he “is covered, privileged, and protected by the parliamentary immunity as enshrined in Section 1 of the Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act 2017, and freedom of speech and expression made thereto is privileged.”

READ ALSO: Adulterated Aviation Fuel ‘Floods’ Lagos, Kano, Abuja

He also prayed the court to declare that, without exhausting the internal disciplinary mechanism, recommendations, and approval of the 9th House of Senate, no other law enforcement agent of the Federal Government, including the defendants, can invite any member of the Senate for questioning/interview and or for any disciplinary purposes in relation to the plaintiff’s privileged inchoate expression/statement/speeches made on the floor of the Nigeria House of Senate at the valedictory session of the Nigeria House of Senate.

As a result, the clerk stated in his application marked FHC/ABJ/CS/895/2023 and filed by his lawyer, Charles Yoila, that at the time Bulkachuwa made what he referred to as the inchoate statement, hence, “he still enjoyed all the privileges and immunities of a legislator under Nigerian Laws.

“That the congressional immunity recognised by the Senate Standing Orders 2022 (as amended) recognises the privileges granted to senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to exempt them from arrest or questioning for any speech or debate entered into during a legislative house.”

He, however, argued that Bulkachuwa had no cause of action against him (2nd defendant) to warrant the institution of the suit against him.

“That the plaintiff was not cut short and/or gaged by the 2nd defendant when he was making his valedictory speech while a sitting senator in the 9th National Assembly as the 2nd defendant was not presiding over plenary on that day,” he said.

The case was adjourned until July 27 for a hearing by Justice Ekwo.

READ ALSO: How Govt. Can End South East Sit-At-Home – Shehu Sani

Recall that during the 9th Assembly’s valedictory session, Bulkachuwa revealed that his wife, former Court of Appeal President, Justice Zainab, “accepted my encroachment, and extended her help to my colleagues.”

On June 12, he said in a viral video clip that his wife assisted his colleagues at the National Assembly.

“I look at faces in this chamber whom have come to me and sought for my help when my wife was the President of the Court of Appeal.

“And I must thank particularly, my wife, whose freedom and independence I encroached upon while she was in office, and she has been very tolerant and accepted my encroachment, and extended her help to my colleagues.

“I did my best and in most cases, I succeeded,” Bulkachuwa had said, while the then Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, tried interjecting him.

However, Zainab, now a retired justice, debunked the comments saying she never favoured any one during her time as a judge.