Court stops new Benue Assembly from sitting

By Aloysius Umalo, Makurdi.

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A Makurdi High Court has restrained the new Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly in North Central Nigeria, Honourable Titus Uba, from conducting sittings in the Hallow Chambers of the State Assembly complex pending the determination of motion on notice.

The court also restrained the Uba-led legislative faction and other principal officers of the state Assembly from parading themselves in the capacity of house leaders.

Also joined in the suite with file No. MHC/259/18 was the principal officers of the assembly including the Deputy Speaker, Johnson Ahubi, Majority Leader, Avine Agbom, Deputy Majority Leader, Sule Audu and the Chief Whip, Honourable Kester Kyenge.

Ruling on the order on motion ex-parte brought before the Court by the impeached Speaker, Terkimbi Ikyange, Justice Theresa Igoche held that “the order is made in the overall interest of justice.”

“According to the Judge, I have looked at paragraphs 22-34 of the affidavit in support and paragraphs 5-13 of the affidavit of urgency.

“This court takes judicial notice of the order of interim injunction made against the plaintiffs/applicants in suit No. MHC/259/18.

“It is similar to the relief being sought here. It is my view that it is necessary for the purpose of averting any danger that may be caused and to avoid any breach of peace.

“That this application should be granted so that the members of the Benue State House of Assembly will not sit in the fifth plaintiffs/applicants’ complex until the Motion on Notice is heard and determined.

Special mission
“This order is made in the overall interest of justice,” Justice Igoche stated.

The new Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Retired Honourable Titus Uba last Wednesday, took possession of the Assembly complex after the Inspector General of Police withdrew policemen deployed on a special mission at the assembly’s complex.

The reliefs sought by Ikyange’s lawyer, Chief Mamman Osuman (SAN) included an order restraining the 1-5 defendants from conducting the sitting of the fifth plaintiff, restraining same from carrying out any functions of the fifth plaintiff.

He said that it can be achieved by restraining  the defendants from further entry and occupying the offices of the 1-4 of the plaintiffs in the fifth plaintiffs’ complex pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

Plaintiffs in the matter  were Retired Honourable Terkimbi Ikyange (former Speaker), Honourable James Okefe (former deputy Speaker), Honourable Benjamin Adanyi (former majority leader) and Nick Eworo (former deputy majority leader) who were all impeached by 22 members of the Benue State House of Assembly.

Joined in the suite as Defendants were Honourable Titus Uba (new Speaker), Johnson Ahubi (deputy Speaker), Avine Agbom (majority leader), Honourable Sule Audu (deputy majority leader), Kester Ikyenge (Chief Whip) and Dr. Torese Agena (Clerk of the House).

 

Lateefah Ibrahim