Supreme Court re-lists constitution amendment case for Monday

by Ranti Joseph

It seems the National assembly have found a way around it and President Goodluck Jonathan is not winning the battle as in a surprise U-turn, the Supreme Court rescheduled for Monday the hearing of the case arising from the face-off between the National Assembly and Jonathan on the legality of the Fourth Alteration Bill for the amendment of the constitution which the President refused to sign into law.


The case had earlier being adjourned to June19 when the current National Assembly would have ceased to exit but NASS, through its lawyer, Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN applied to the Supreme Court to have the case relisted for hearing before the expiration of the tenure of the current National Assembly.

 

“Take notice that the above motion will be listed for hearing before the Supreme Court of Nigeria sitting at Abuja on Monday 25th day of May 2015.


“And further take notice that in accordance with Order 2 Rule 1(2) of the Supreme Court Rules 1985, as amended, this notice is deemed sufficiently served on you if it is left at your address for service or sent by registered post and since the date of service by post is material, section 26 of the Interpretation Act, 1c64 shall apply,” the notice reads.


According to ThisDay, NASS is asking the court to discharge the interlocutory orders of injunction made on May 7, which barred the lawmakers from overriding the president’s veto.


“The originating summons dated 22nd April 2015 is incompetent, fundamentally and incurably defective and thereby robs the Supreme Court of its jurisdiction.


“There is no known or reasonable cause of action disclosed in the originating summons to ground jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.


“The originating summons filed by the plaintiff is an improper and or reckless invocation of the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court,” Awolowo said.


He further argued that the Attorney General of the Federation was not competent to invoke the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under the Supreme Court (additional jurisdiction) Act.


While urging the court to hear the application, Awomolo said that the National Assembly was inaugurated on June 6th, 2011 for a term of four years and that the four years lifespan of the 7th National Assembly would terminate on June 6th 2015 and the case would therefore become abated.


“It is in the interest of justice and the good people of Nigeria that this suit be given expeditious hearing and determination”, he added.


The Supreme Court had earlier stopped the National Assembly from going ahead to enact into law the Fourth Alteration Act which seeks to amend the 1999 constitution.


The Chief Justice of Nigeria, who presided at the hearing of the suit filed by the Federal Government to stop the NASS from overriding Jonathan’s veto on amendments to the constitution specifically, warned the parties not to do anything that will affect the subject matter of the suit.


The court consequently adjourned the suit to June 18 when a new government would have come on board and the legislative session of the present NASS would have ended.


The Supreme Court’s order then effectively killed the threat by the NASS to go ahead to pass the amendments into law thereby rendering the whole amendments process which gulped billion of Naira a wasted exercise.


FG’s claim that the purported Fourth Alteration Act 2015 was not passed with the mandatory requirement of four-fifths majority of members of the Defendant and the mandatory due processes provided for under the relevant sections of the extant Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.

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