A Federal High Court in Abuja has struck out a suit that sought the sack of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara and 52 other National Assembly members who defected last year from the political parties on whose. platforms they got to the office. The suit was filed by a civil society group, the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP). In a judgment on Friday, Justice Okon Abang held that despite the plaintiff’s noble intention, his court lacked the jurisdiction to determine the merit of its claims in the case, because the plaintiff lacked the locus standi (the legal capacity) to initiate the suit.
Justice Abang was of the view that the fact that the plaintiff is a registered corporate body under the Company and Allied Matters Act was insufficient to clothe with the right to sue on behalf of the public. The judge said the plaintiff’s failure to join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Action Democratic Congress (ADC) – (affected by the defecting lawmakers’ action) – was fatal to the suit. He noted that, not being the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the political parties affected by the legislators’ defection, a member of any of the political parties, a member of the constituencies of the defecting lawmakers or a registered voters in the lawmakers’ constituencies, the plaintiff lacked the legal capacity to file the suit. Photo Credit: Getty