OrderPaperToday – The Supreme Court has fined a lawyer, Tolu Babaleye, N2m for delaying court proceedings with a frivolous appeal in the suspension case of Abdulmumin Jibrin (APC, Kano)
The suit was filed by a former Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Appropriation, to challenge his suspension for 180 legislative days since September 28, 2016.
During the proceedings on Wednesday, a five-man panel of the apex court headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, delivered a unanimous bench judgment, shortly after parties to the appeal adopted their papers.
Describing the appeal as “vexatious and frivolous,” Justice Ejembi Eko, who delivered the lead judgment of the court, ordered Babaleye to pay each of the four respondents to the appeal, including Jibrin, the sum of N500,000.
Apart from Jibrin, the other respondents ordered to be paid N500,000 included the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; the House of Representatives and the Clerk of the House of Representatives.
The court ordered that the lawyer must pay the total fine amounting to N2m, personally.
Babaleye had filed the appeal on behalf of two members of the House of Representatives – Nicholas Ossai and Orker-Jev Yisa – asking to be allowed to be joined as defendants to Jibrin’s case which is still pending before the Federal High Court.
Ossai was the Chairman of House Committee on Ethics, which recommended Jibrin’s suspension and Yisa was the House member who moved the motion for the suspension of the Kano lawmaker.
In April 13, 2017, Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Abuja, where Jibrin’s substantive suit is still pending, dismissed the lawmakers’ joinder application, describing them as “strangers” with no interest in the proceedings.
The lawmakers, through their lawyer, Babaleye, appealed to the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which had also dismissed their case in its judgment delivered on the 17th of December 2017.