The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, has asked the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, to commit the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Suleiman Abba, to jail for disobeying an order made by the court.
The IGP had last week ordered police officers to take over the National Assembly complex to “prevent thugs from taking over the complex”.
In a suit filed by Tambuwal over his position as the speaker after he defected to the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, Justice Ahmed Muhammed who is trying the case, ordered that all parties should maintain the status quo, implying that Tambuwal stays put on his seat as speaker till the court takes a decision on the matter.
Relying on two grounds, Tambuwal, represented by Lateef Fagbemi a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, said the IG should be charged for contempt after he directed his men to stop the plaintiff from gaining access to the premises of the National Assembly despite an earlier order by the court that all parties must maintain the status quo pending the determination of the substantive suit seeking interpretation of his status as the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The Speaker equally informed the court that by the IGP’s refusal to recognize him as Speaker of the House when he appeared before a committee of the House of Representatives, last Monday, the IG constituted himself “to be the complainant, the judge and the executioner in a matter where a restraining order has already been issued by the judge”.
Justice Muhammed, ruling on the exparte application, ordered Tambuwal’s counsel to serve the motion on notice on the IG’s lawyers for response.
Justice Muhammed then adjourned the matter to December 1 for a ruling on whether some interested parties, notably the Executive Chairman of Tambuwal Local Government Authority and a member representing Tambuwal West constituency in the Sokoto State House of Assembly, can be joined in the suit.