National Assembly asks court to trash Soyinka’s suit over constitution

Channels Television  
Updated March 15, 2012

The National Assembly has asked the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos to strike out a suit filed by Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka and Fred Agbeyegbe  which seeks to declare that the amended 1999 Constitution is illegal because it is not an act of the people.

In the suit, both men want the court to declare that the amended 1999 Constitution is not an act of the people.

In an objection filed by the clerk of the National Assembly on Thursday, the lawmakers want the suit dismissed on the grounds that the court lacks jurisdiction.

Counsel representing the plaintiffs however insisted that the court has the jurisdiction.

The plaintiffs had instituted the suit in 2009 seeking the production of a constitution that is a true reflection of the people’s opinion, one that emanates from a proper referendum.

Of the five respondents in the suit, only the clerk of the National Assembly was represented by a counsel during the court hearing. The other defendants in the suit are the President, the Attorney General of the federation, the Senate president and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Professor Soyinka in the last hearing had sought the permission of the judge to stay away from the court proceedings, citing the target to his life by the dreaded Boko Haram sect which has declared him wanted.

Presiding Justice John Tsoho adjourned further hearing on the issue of jurisdiction till the 6th of June.

He has also deleted the name of the late Biafra warlord, Chief Chukwuemeka Odimegwu-Ojukwu from the list of plaintiffs following his death.