Embattled Speaker of Nigeria’s lower legislative chamber, Honourable Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has abandoned his decision to run for Nigeria’s highest political office ahead of the 2015 Elections, considering instead, the Sokoto State governorship race on the platform of the main opposition party, APC.
This development is coming barely 24-hours after a Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, struck out one of the suits filed by the Speaker challenging the withdrawal of his security aides by the Inspector General of Police, following his declaration to run for the Presidency.
Tambuwal, whose presidential nomination forms was purchased by his political backers, according to him, had since set up the Tambuwal Presidential Project, TPP to provide a good support base for his presidential ambition bringing him in in direct contention against President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term political bid.
The Speaker disclosed that his decision to run for the highest political office was as a result of the pressure mounted on him by some key political players across the country, a move some have regarded as an attempt to check the influence of General Muhammadu Buhar within the All People’s Congress.
Tambuwal who is now being prepared to contest for the Sokoto State governorship position according to party sources, had come under severe attack after picking up the presidential nomination form, facing the chance of losing his seat as Speaker of the House of Representatives, as the lawmakers from the ruling People’s Democratic Party threatened to declare his seat vacant, given the conflict of interest.
The Speaker who is currently regarded a major political influencer for the opposition in Sokoto state, approached the Federal court to challenge the withdrawal of his aides and also seek to stop the House of Representatives to declare his seat vacant as the Speaker.
He had joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), its national chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, the House of Representatives, deputy speaker, IG, INEC and Attorney General of Federation (AGF) as defendants in the suit, that was struck out the Federal Court on Monday, following its withdrawal by his lawyer, Dr. Tunji Abayomi,
The court however, fixed November 27 for the hearing of the motion for joinder and amendment of originating summons filed by Tambuwal in the other suit, but stopped the defendants from re-convening the House of Representatives before the next adjourned date.
The suit was struck out after the lawyer who filed it on behalf of Tambuwal, Dr Tunji Abayomi, applied to withdraw it.
When the matter was called for mention, Abayomi told the court that his client had earlier called him before the court sat that the suit should be withdrawn.
He noted that the application was very different from the other suit, adding that he was basically asking the court to determine the constitutionality of the withdrawal of Tambuwal’s security aides.
Counsel to the defendants in the suit, Ade Okeaya-Inneh (SAN), did not oppose the application but prayed the court for an order of dismissal on the grounds that they have filed a response to the application.
He further prayed the court to make an order as to cost.
Opposing the application, Abayomi contended that the defendants had not joined issue with them and that the matter was for mention.
Delivering a short ruling, the trial judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, held that the defendants had only responded to the interlocutory application and not the substantive one.
He further held that the implication was that the defendants have not yet joined issue with the plaintiff.
The Judge, on that ground, struck out the suit with no order as to cost.
In the second suit filed by Tambuwal whereby he is challenging the withdrawal of his aides and seeking to stop the House of Representatives from removing him as the Speaker of the House, the court adjourned till November 27 for hearing.
Counsel to Tambuwal in the suit, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), who led about seven other SANs and 65 lawyers, brought an application to amend the originating summons.
In the amended application, Tambuwal is asking the court to determine whether the AGF and IG have the power to interpret the constitution to the effect of withdrawing his aides.
Some other parties have also approached the court seeking an order of joiner in the suit.
Responding to the application to amend originating summons, Okeaya-Inneh prayed the court for a short adjournment so as to respond to it.
The court then also refused to reverse the withdrawal of Tambuwal’s aides but rather gave an order of accelerated hearing.
Joined as defendants in the suit are the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), its national chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, the House of Representatives, deputy speaker, IG, INEC and AGF.
The defendants had brought a preliminary objection against the application, asking the court to dismiss it.