Seven Zamfara lawmakers threaten court action over members’ suspension
Seven members of the Zamfara State House of Assembly have threatened to sue the Speaker of the house along other members for allegedly breaching the nation’s Constitution.
The aggrieved members are questioning the constitutionality of the sudden suspension of four members by the Speaker, Sanusi Rikiji, and the remaining 16 of the 24 members of the assembly without following due process and constitutional provisions.
The aggrieved members are: Salisu Musa, representing Tsafe East, Daiyabu Rijiya, representing Gusau 2 as well as the House Chief Whip and his deputy, Abdullahi Dansadau and Mani Malam Mummuni, respectively.
They are being supported by the other three: Mansur Bungudu, Hamisu Gazuri and Abubakar Nasarawa.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Salisu Musa said, “We are challenging this suspension which we believe was hurriedly carried out without giving us a fair hearing.
“The house acted on false allegations that we disclosed to an online media that members of the house and some officials of the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs collected N200 million from local government chairmen in order to extend the chairmen’s tenure in office which expired on January 2.
“Other allegations were that we were sponsored to cause chaos in the assembly and that we have been given N30 million by a member of the G8, all of which were baseless and which can only be determined by setting up an investigation committee.
“The violation of this and the subsequent approval of the remaining members to extend the tenure of the local government councils are directly an abuse on the nation’s constitution and the state’s local government law 2012 as amended,” Musa said.
Reacting to the allegations, the House Leader, Isa Abdulmumini, told journalists that those suspended violated the house rules which led to their suspension.
“Every member is aware of the house rules and the penalty against violations, so if the affected members feel they were not treated fairly and are threatening to go to court, they are free to, and we will be ready to face them in court.
“We only suspended four persons and a committee has been constituted to investigate the matter, but we are surprised to hear that three others have joined them.
“If however, any member decides to follow the suspended ones and abscond from the house sessions, they also know the consequences and the rules will be applied against them,” Mr Abdulmumini said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the assembly which went on recess, reconvened on January 2nd and January 3 to take decisions on the governor’s request for the tenure extension of the local government councils which was objected by the four suspended members.
The house, then, suspended them and approved the governor’s request with much ease at its extra ordinary session.