Court stops House of Reps from probing PDP caucus leaders

Court stops House of Reps from probing PDP caucus leaders

- A court has ordered the House of Representatives and its speaker not probe PDP caucus leaders

- The lawmakers were being investigated for releasing a statement on behalf of the group about the presidential election appeal

- Recall that the four PDP lawmakers were accused of parading themselves as the party’s caucus leaders in the House of Representatives

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The Nigerian House of Representatives was on Monday, June 22, ordered by a Federal High Court in Abuja to stop probing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus leaders.

In a report by ThisDay, the privileges and ethics committee along with the speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, were ordered not to investigate statements made by the opposition leaders in 2019 over the presidential election appeal at the Supreme Court and Kogi state governorship election.

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Justice Inynag Ekwo in a judgment delivered held that the probe was unconstitutional. The judge went on to note that it was a violation of their rights to freedom of expression and association.

The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/68/2020 was filed by the PDP caucus leaders on Monday, January 27.

Court Stops House of Reps from probing PDP caucus
A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the House of Reps not to probe PDP caucus
Source: Twitter

Ekwo held that the statements issued by the opposition leaders were released based on the roles assigned them by the PDP and in their personal capacity as Nigerians.

Justice Ekwo also issued an order of injunction, restraining members of the House or any other committee from investigating the plaintiffs or taking any disciplinary action against them.

Back in November 2019, an investigation was launched against four PDP lawmakers by the House committee following allegations that they issued statements in capacities not recognized by the lower chamber that misled the general public.

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Meanwhile, previously reported that a caucus of the PDP in the House of Representatives tasked the Supreme Court to follow the established precedent in the selection of justices who will hear Atiku Abubakar's appeal.

The lawmakers made this known in a statement signed by Kingsley Chinda, the PDP leader in the house.

The PDP lawmakers noted that the established precedent is that the first seven most senior justices of the Supreme Court, including the CJN, preside over presidential election appeals.

Following the alleged precedents, they named the most senior justices of the apex court who should be appointed to hear the appeal.

However, the four PDP lawmakers are to be investigated for parading themselves as the party’s caucus leaders. This was after Ben Igbakpa on Wednesday, November 6, 2019, raised a concern about the matter.

Igbakpa, a PDP lawmaker from Delta state, named Kingsley Chinda, Chukwuka Onyema, Umar Barde and Muraina Ajibola as the lawmakers parading themselves as the party’s caucus leaders.

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It was reported that Chinda and his group released at least three statements on behalf of the PDP caucus of the house.

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