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Court fixes date for ruling on defected PDP lawmakers

27 March 2014, 11:41

Abuja - An Abuja Federal High Court on Wednesday reserved ruling till March 28 in an application brought by lawmakers who defected from the PDP to All Progressives Congress (APC).

Justice Ahmed Mohammed, who was to deliver judgement in the matter, declined to do so after hearing the arguments of counsel to both the ruling PDP and opposition APC.

At the resumed sitting earlier slated for judgment, Mahmoud Magaji, SAN, counsel to the lawmakers, moved a motion seeking an indefinite adjournment pending the outcome of a ‘referral’ filed at the Court of Appeal.

Opposing Magaji’s motion, Joe Gadzama, SAN, PDP counsel, drew the court’s attention that the business of the day was for judgement.

He noted that the day’s business was of urgent national importance that different sectors of the society are keenly interested in the matter.

Gadzama, therefore, urged the court to cautiously frustrate any effort by anybody to delay the proceedings.

Citing Section 295(2) of the 1999 Constitution, he said that the court could decide on the matter, suo moto.

Gadzama argued that the 'referral’ by the lawmakers’ counsel was supposed to be filed before the Federal High Court and not at the Court of Appeal.

He then prayed the court to strike out the motion because it did not follow the due process of law and is, therefore, an abuse of court process.

“Since there is no ruling, there can never be an appeal against the lower court therefore, the referral doesn't incapacitate the Federal High Court.

“In the eyes of the law, there is no referral application; this application is just an example of the most incompetent application to be filed before a court of law.

“The action of the plaintiff is just an attempt to arrest the judgement of the court, which the Supreme Court has condemned in strong terms," he said.

Replying on point of law, Magaji said that the contentious ‘referral’ was in conformity with the provisions of Order 30 of the professional ethics practice rules.

He said that this was so because the application was brought before the pronouncement of judgement is made by the trial court.

Justice Mohammed fixed March 28 for ruling on the application.

 - NAN

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