A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has rejected a suit laid by former Nigerian Senator, and member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Dino Melaye, which had been aimed at restraining the House of Representatives from continued consideration and possible passage of the controversial Control of Infectious Diseases Bill 2020, popularly called the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Bill.
It said that the suit had not been served to all defendants, thus necessitating that the motion be struck out and the case moved to hearing at a later date.
The presiding Judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, stated that the third defendant in the suit, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, was yet to be served with relevant court documents in an omission which had resulted in his absence from court.
Ojukwu, in a ruling pronounced on Wednesday, declined Melaye’s request on grounds of the defendants’ failure to appear in court and the resultant inability to show probable cause for why a restraining order should not be granted against the NCDC bill.
She said that the success of the suit had been dependent on the service of all respondents with the required court documents, on the failing of which the request was denied.
“Since the condition precedent has not been met, I would rather hold that the matter proceeds to hearing”, she said.
Ojukwu ordered that Gbajabiamila be duly served court summons through his lawyer, Kayode Ajulo, and adjourned the case for hearing till June 1, 2020.
The Guild gathered that the respondents to the case included the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, the Clerk of the National Assembly, and the Clerk of the House of Representatives.
It noted that both clerks as well as the AGF, Malami, had been absent from the Wednesday proceedings and were not represented in court by their lawyers.
However, Gbajabiamila and Adamu, though also absent from the courtrooms, were represented by lawyers, Kayode Ajulo and Kehinde Oluwole, respectively.