Two Kogi Assembly Principal Officers May Lose Positions Over Suit Filed by Makama

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By Tayo Ibrahim.

The last have not been heard in the crisis that is threatening the relative peace in the Kogi State House of Assembly as two principal officers may lose their new leadership positions following a suit filed against them by another lawmaker, Hon. Friday Sanni Makama.

Makama, member representing Igalamela-Odolu state constituency, has filed a suit before the Kogi State High Court, Idah seeking for a restraining order against the two lawmakers, Minority Leader, Hon. Godwin Osuyi (PDP Ogori-Magongo) and Deputy Minority Whip, Dr Friday Alih (PDP, Ofu),  from parading themselves as principal officers of the sixth assembly.

In a suit filed on Monday 27th March 2017 against the Kogi State House of Assembly, Speaker Imam Ahmed, Godwin Osuyi, Governor Yahaya Bello, Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of Kogi State, Accountant General of Kogi State and Kogi state government, Makama through his counsel P.U Ogbadu Esq, noted that illegality and immunity cannot be a cornerstone in administration of government and that forms the basis for his suit against the seven defendants.

The lawmaker is challenging that the 1st and 4th defendants have no powers to unilaterally create additional two principal offices/positions or any office/position at all in the 1st defendant’s assembly when there is no provision in any law, or the rules of the 1st defendant enabling the action.

Honourable Makama cited pages 5 and pages 6 of the Kogi State House of Assembly standing rules on the election of House principal officers which states that; “for avoidance of misinterpretation the principal officers referred to in rule 6 (1) above includes, speaker, deputy speaker, majority Leader, minority Leader, chief whip, Deputy majority Leader, deputy chief whip and minority whip.

This he observed is contrary to what the House is having now as a new seat was created which produced Friday Alih as Deputy Minority Whip.

He alleged that it was a deliberate plan by the Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello to pull down his legislative duties in the House. He also pointed that a declaration that the purported emergence of the 3rd defendant as the minority leader on the determining choice of the majority party members, and despite the protestation of the minority party members whom he is meant to represent, is illegal, null and void and liable to be set aside.

In a letter, sent by the court to the seven defendant which a copy has been received by the Clerk of the Kogi State House of Assembly, explained that “this request in the writ whose advance copy is herewith attached, has as you may well be aware, rendered further actions in respect of the subject matters subjudice.”

“In the circumstance, it will amount to an act disrespectful and overreaching of the court for parties to temper with the subject matter of litigation and foist a state of fait accompli. In line with this, kindly be advised to pend all further action, so as not to run foul of established legal principles relating to a matter pending in court.”

Recall that before Honourable Godwin Osuyi emerged as the new minority leader of the chamber, the state PDP Publicity Secretary, Hon. Bode Ogunmola sent a letter to the House indicating that five PDP lawmakers unanimously endorsed Honourable Friday Sanni Makama as the minority leader.

But when the Speaker read the letter before members in the hallow chamber, three out of the supposed five members whose signatory appeared in the letter withdrew their signatures.