A Federal High Court in Kano has ruled that the House of Representatives Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado Doguwa’s Culpable Homicide charges, as well as the Criminal Conspiracy Prosecution, are unconstitutional.
On Monday, the Court’s Presiding Judge, Justice Mohammad Yunusa, proclaimed jurisdiction to hear and grant the beleaguered majority leader of the House of Representatives’ N500 million bail on exparte application.
In ruling on Doguwa’s application on notice challenging the lower court’s violation of his fundamental rights and arbitrary imprisonment, Justice Yunusa ruled that the Chief Magistrate Court lacked jurisdiction to hear any accusation involving criminal conspiracy.
Justice Yunusa further noted section 251 (1), which grants the Federal court sole jurisdiction to handle a firearms dispute, ascontained in Doguwa’s charges.
Although the judge stressed that granting Doguwa bail was not designed to keep him from facing trial, Justice Yunusa insisted on due procedure.
Doguwa sought the enforcement of his client’s fundamental rights as provided by the constitution and other lawful charters in an affidavit given to the court by his attorney, Nureini Jimoh, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
The senior counsel stated that Doguwa was unlawfully arrested by police, violating his right to liberty and freedom as guaranteed by many clauses of the 1999 constitution as amended. According to the affidavits, the applicant’s counsel maintained that the Chief Magistrate’s detention of his client was null and void and illegal because a lower court lacked the capacity to try criminal accusations.
The prosecution claimed in his 26-paragraph counter-affidavits that police have a statutory duty to investigate any relevant case on a criminal conspiracy for any amount of time, adding that such activity does not constitute an infringement of the citizen’s fundamental right.
In his decision, Justice Yunusa stated that citizens had the right under the statutes section 46 (1) of the 1999 constitution as modified to approach any high court to contest an infringement or violation of his or her fundamental right.
Although Justice Yunusa acknowledged the portions of the statute that clearly designated the state high court as the venue for challenging violations of fundamental rights, he revealed that both the state and federal high courts have concurrent jurisdiction to hear fundamental rights cases.
Dissatisfied with the court’s ruling releasing Doguwa, prosecution attorney AB Saleh questioned the Federal high court’s power to enforce the orders, claiming Justice Yunusa’s actions constituted to serious abuse of court process.
Doguwa, according to Justice Yunusa, should not be remanded in the detention facility in the first place because he was not arraigned and properly charged, and the police argument on the charge before the lower court was not recognized by the land’s constitution.
As a result, the court granted the application barring the police from arresting, harassing, detaining, or otherwise taking further action against Doguwa.