Court Fixes Date For Judgement In Bulkachuwa’s Suit Against ICPC, Others

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court Abuja has fixed October 25 for judgement in a suit filed by Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa against the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigerian Police Force.

Bulkachuwa is accusing the ICPC, DSS and others of colluding with his political enemies to harass him following his valedictory comment on the floor of the Senate, which he said his political enemies continued to misrepresent.

The ex-lawmaker, who is the husband of the immediate-past President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, cited the June 15 letter of invitation sent to him by the ICPC over his comment on the floor of the Senate, which he said many had misinterpreted to mean that he had influenced his wife’s handling of some case while she was the president of the Court of Appeal.

He argued that as a serving Senator when he made the comment, he was by law, immune to arrest or detention over any of his conduct, action or speech on the floor of the Senate.

In a supporting affidavit, he said he was freely expressing himself on the floor of the upper legislative chamber when the then Senate President, Ahmad Lawal, interjected and prevented him from completely expressing his thought.

He said he was neither questioned nor disciplined by the Senate for any wrongdoing.

Bulkachuwa stated that he was surprised to received an invitation from the ICPC, asking him to report for interview on June 22 for interrogation over his comment on the floor of the Senate.

He argued that by law, it was only the Senate in session (committee of the whole) or any of its sub-committees that had the disciplinary power to invite him to answer any question or questions relating to his conduct or utterances on the floor of the upper chamber.

Bulkachuwa also sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants and other agencies of the Federal Government from further inviting and or compelling him “to appear before them for interviews or questioning in respect of his inchoate utterances on the floor of the 9th Senate.

At the day’s hearing, Counsel to Bulkachuwa, Donald Ayibiowu, urged the court to grant all the reliefs sought.

In a counter affidavit, the Clerk of the National Assembly argued that Bulkachuwa enjoyed immunity from any form of proceedings in respect of words spoken or written at the plenary session.

Lawyer to the Attorney General Oyin Koleoso, faulted the plaintiff’s argument, contending that he no longer had any immunity from arrest and prosecution because he had ceased to be a Senator.

Koleoso urged the court to dismiss the suit.

After listening to both parties, Justice Inyang Ekwo subsequently Adjourned the suit to October 25 for Judgement.