#iPGN: Diezani, stall hearing of jet scandal suit

Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, on Thursday stalled the hearing of the suit they filed to stop their investigation by the House of Representatives over the allegation that she expended N10bn in hiring aircraft.

Her ministry and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation were also part of the moves which did not allow the matter to proceed to hearing at a Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed had on June 19 adjourned till Thursday after hearing of the substantive suit after he ordered halted the proposed probe by ordering parties in the suit to maintain the status quo.

The order halting the probe had come ahead of the plan by the House Committee on Public Accounts to carry out the probe on June 25, 26 and 27, 2014.

But the minister and the two other plaintiffs informed the court that they had filed an application seeking to amend their originating summons.

This development did not allow the hearing to go on on Thursday.

They are, by the application, seeking to add two additional prayers to the prayers already contained in their originating summons.

One of the proposed prayers is a declaration that the National Assembly and House of Representatives (defendants in the suit) cannot investigate petitions against them and that they cannot on-sight investigation into the plaintiff’s activities.

Although the National Assembly, represented by Yakubu Maikyau (SAN), did not oppose the amendment sought by the plaintiffs, the House of Representatives, represented by Abubakar Mahmud (SAN), objected to it.

But the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Etigwe Uwa (SAN), sought time to enable him respond to the objection filed by the House of Reps against his application to amend.

Mahmud, argued that, as against Uwa’s position, the plaintiffs’ action amounted to acting against parties’ agreement to proceed with the substantive suit on Thursday.

He contended that the amendment sought by the plaintiffs was an attempt to broaden the scope of the suit beyond what existed before.

He insisted that the amendment was unnecessary.

Justice Mohammed ruled that there was nothing unsusual in the objection raised by the House of Representatives’ lawyer against the plaintiffs’ application for amendment.

He held that since the plaintiffs had chosen to amend their originating process, the House of Representatives was entitled to either object or support such decision.

The judge then adjourned till July 9 for hearing of the plaintiffs’ application to amend their originating summons.

The judge did not making any pronouncement on the order that status quo be maintained by parties till July 3.

Posted From iProdigy Group Nigeria(Dabibi Ori-ibim’s Blog).

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