A federal high court in Abuja has declared as illegal the suspension of Abdulmumin Jibrin, lawmaker representing Bebeji/Kiru constituency in Kano state, by the house of representatives.
In 2017, the house suspended Jibrin for 180 legislative days after he alleged the padding of 2016 budget.
He had accused Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house, and other principal officers of allegedly attempting to pad N30 billion projects into the budget.
At the time of his suspension, the lawmaker — who has since resumed duties — was also banned from holding any position in the house.
But following a suit filed by the lawmaker, the court declared that it (the suspension) was “unconstitutional”.
At the sitting on Thursday, John Tsoho, the presiding judge, also ordered the lower legislative chamber to pay him all the salaries due to him for the period he was suspended.
“The suspension was an interruption of his earning which will be automatically restored especially when it has been decided that the action was a nullity by virtue of granting prayers 1 and 3 of the originating summons,” he said.
“When an action is declared nullity it is deemed that it never happened.”
He said the lawmakers was only carrying out his lawful mandate as a member of the lower legislative chamber and thus, the suspension was not warranted.
“There is no better conclusion that the plaintiff was carrying out the mandate imposed on members by chapter 7 (7.5) of the Code of Conduct for honourable members adopted on November 4, 2004,” the judge added.
Jibrin is not the first lawmaker whose suspension has been voided, especially with the argument on whether either of the chambers in the national assembly has the power to suspend members.
A federal high court in Abuja recently voidedthe suspension Ali Ndume, senator representing Borno south senatorial district. The judge who handled the case described the suspension as an “exhibition of lawlessness” on the side of the lawmakers.
The senate’s suspension of Ovie Omo-Agege, a Delta central senator, was also recently nullified by the federal high court in Abuja.