HOUSE of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila has prayed a Federal High Court in Abuja to reject a suit challenging the House decision to probe the allegation that it was offered $10 million to pass the Infectious Disease Bill.
The Speaker argued that the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the suit filed by Coalition of United Political Party (CUPP) spokesman Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere.
Ugochinyere is, by the suit, querying the invitation extended to him by a committee of the House of Representatives to substantiate his allegation that the lawmakers were given $10 million by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to pass the Bill.
In a preliminary objection filed by his lawyer, Kayode Ajulo, the Speaker urged the court to strike out or dismiss the suit for being incompetent.
He averred that the suit did not disclose any reasonable cause of action against him and the Clerk of the National Assembly (who are listed as defendants) because it relates to the performance of their statutory and constitutional duties.
Gbajabiamila added that as presently constituted, the suit is premature and bereft of any cause of action.
The judge handling the suit, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, on Monday withdrew, complaining about misrepresentation of proceedings in the matter.
The judge held that, as against the impression created in the media, he never summoned Gbajabiamila to appear before the court.
According to him, he only ordered the defendants to show cause why he should not grant the reliefs sought by the plaintiff in an ex parte application.
Justice Taiwo also frowned at the reaction of some lawmakers to his handling of the case and elected to return the case file to the court’s Chief Judge for re-assignment to another judge.
Credit: The Nation