Suspended Zamfara Lawmakers File Suit Against Speaker, Attorney General, Others

Eight suspended members of the Zamfara State House of Assembly have initiated legal action by filing a lawsuit at the Federal High Court in Gusau, challenging the violation of their constitutional rights. The lawsuit targets seven respondents, including the State Attorney-General and Commissioner For Justice, Abdulaziz Sani (SAN), the embattled Speaker of Zamfara State House of Assembly, Bilyaminu Moriki, the Clerk of the State Assembly, Mahmoud Mohammed, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), the Commissioner of Police Zamfara State Command, Mohammed Dalijan, and the Department of State Service (DSS). The suspended lawmakers assert that their liberty, dignity of human person, fair hearing, and property rights were violated due to the actions taken against them without following due process.

The lawmakers’ legal representative, Ibrahim Alli, emphasized that his clients allege collusion between the embattled speaker and law enforcement agencies, including the police, DSS, and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), in an attempt to arrest and prosecute them. This stems from their participation in a plenary session held on February 22, 2024, which the embattled speaker and his allies consider unauthorized, along with allegations of forcibly entering the Zamfara State House of Assembly premises.

Although the case was scheduled for a hearing at the Federal High Court on Monday, there were procedural hitches reported by the registry. Some respondents, such as the police, the Director of the DSS, and others, had not yet been served with the necessary legal documents. In response, Ibrahim Alli, representing the eight suspended state lawmakers, requested an adjournment to allow sufficient time for serving the remaining respondents and ensuring procedural fairness in the legal proceedings.

The legal dispute underscores the complexity surrounding the suspension of the Zamfara State House of Assembly members and the broader implications for constitutional rights and due process. The lawsuit seeks to address the alleged breaches of fundamental rights and ensure that the legal process is conducted in a manner that upholds the principles of fairness and justice.

As the case unfolds, it highlights the importance of adherence to legal procedures and the role of the judiciary in safeguarding individuals’ constitutional rights, particularly in matters involving legislative processes and political disputes. The outcome of this legal challenge will likely have significant ramifications for the suspended lawmakers and the political landscape in Zamfara State.

In pursuing their case before the Federal High Court, the suspended lawmakers are seeking redress for what they perceive as violations of their constitutional rights and procedural irregularities in the actions taken against them. The legal proceedings represent a critical juncture in determining the legitimacy of the suspension and the extent to which due process was followed in addressing the allegations against the lawmakers.

The Presiding judge, Justice
Bappa, granted the motion and adjourned the case to April 29th, 2024