A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, restrained the Governor of Kano State, Abba Kabir Yusuf, and the state’s attorney-general from re-arresting or detaining Rep Alhassan Ado Doguwa pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
Justice Donatus Okorowo gave the order following an oral application by Doguwa’s counsel, Afam Osigwe, SAN, to that effect.
Recall that Doguwa, through his lawyer, had filed a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/831/23 to seek an order enforcing its fundamental rights.
However, the lawmaker who represents Doguwa/Tundun Wada Federal Constituency of Kano State in the House of Representatives, sued the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the Inspector-General (I-G) of Police, the executive governor of Kano State and the A-G as 1st to 4th defendants respectively.
In a motion ex-parte earlier moved by Osigwe on June 20, Doguwa sought the protection of the court against an alleged plan by the state government to re-arrest and detain him in connection with the electoral violence that ensued during the presidential and national assembly elections, leading to the deaths of some people in the state.
Justice Okorowo had ordered the parties in the suit to maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of the substantive matter.
Although the judge did not grant all the prayers sought, he ordered Doguwa to put the defendants on notice for them to show cause why his prayers should not be granted in the next adjourned date.
Upon resuming the hearing on Tuesday, Osigwe informed the court that the 3rd and 4th defendants (governor and the A-G) served their processes around 2 p.m. on Monday.
He indicated his interest to respond to issues raised by the state government.
The lawyer, who sought for a short adjournment, prayed the court to extend its earlier order made on June 20 for parties to maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
But M. K. Umar, who appeared for the governor and the A-G disagreed with Osigwe on his oral application for the extension of the order.
Umar argued that in compliance with the order of the court to show the cause why Doguwa’s prayers should not be granted, they had filed the necessary processes.
“Furthermore, we have also reacted to the applicant’s substantive motion.
“In the circumstances, we will be craving the indulgence of this honourable court to order accelerated hearing in this matter because we have already joined issues in this matter, my lord,” he said.
Osigwe told the court that Umar’s reaction had confirmed their fear of what the state government planned against his client.
He argued that once parties had submitted themselves to court, they should respect the court by staying all actions until the court decides which way, citing a Supreme Court decision to back his argument.
“The Supreme Court says irrespective of whether an injunctive order has been made, parties should submit themselves to the decision of the court,” he said.
He prayed the court for an undertaking from the state’s counsel.
Umar assured the judge that the state government would not take further step during the pendency of the case in court.
In a short ruling, Okorowo, who noted the undertaking made by Umar, directed parties to maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of the main matter.
He adjourned the matter until July 14 for hearing.