A member of Abia State House of Assembly (ABSHA), Martin Azubuike, has obtained an order of the state High Court restraining the assembly from suspending or declaring his seat vacant.
In the case before Justice C.H. Ahuchaogu, on Friday, January 19, 2018, the court restrained the respondents from carrying out further action on the matter, while awaiting the determination of the substantive suit.
In suit No. HOS/3M/2018, filed at the High Court of Ossisioma Judicial Division, the case lists as respondentds: Azubuike as applicant and ABSHA, the Speaker, Chikwendu Kalu; the Deputy Speaker, Cosmos Ndukwe, and 21 other members of the assembly, Clerk of the House, Abia State Government, Commissioner of Finance, Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Accountant General of the state, Commissioner of Police and the Director, State Security Services, Abia State command.
The motion ex parte was brought pursuant to Order IV Rules 3 and 4(c) (iv) and Order V Rules 7 (a) of the fundamental rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rule 2009.
The court granted the order after going through the affidavit in support of the motion and the written address, and after hearing M. U. Obike, counsel to the applicant.
The court ordered thus: “That leave is granted to the applicant to serve the respondents the originating process and all other subsequent service: that is, by pasting the said process on the 1st to 29th respondents through the office of the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Abia State at the Ministry of Justice headquarters, Umuahia.”
The court order signed by Mazi U.I. Okoroafor, assistant chief registrar, also ordered: “That an order of interim injunction maintaining the status quo and restraining the respondents, their employees, servants agents or any other person acting on their authority from taking further steps in this matter, pending the determination of the substantive application in this case, that is: suspending or removing the applicant as a member of the Abia State House of Assembly (ABSHA) or declaring the applicant’s seat vacant under any guise or colouration or stopping the applicant from discharging his function as or receiving his salaries, pending the determination of the substantive application in this case.”
Justice Ahuchaogu was adjourned till Friday, January 26.