Federal High Court Rejects Sen. Adamu Bulkachuwa’s Suit Against ICPC and DSS Probe

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By  Milcah  Tanimu

In a significant development, a Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Sen. Adamu Bulkachuwa, which aimed to halt investigations by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) into comments he made during the valedictory session of the 9th National Assembly.

Justice Inyang Ekwo delivered the judgment and ruled that the lawsuit lacked merit and should be dismissed. The judge emphasized that Sen. Bulkachuwa, being a lawmaker, should comprehend the implications of his statements made on the Senate floor. The claim of legislative immunity put forth by the plaintiff was rejected by the court.

Justice Ekwo further stated that it is the duty of every law-abiding citizen to assist and cooperate with law enforcement agencies in the performance of their statutory functions. He clarified that a cause of action could only arise if a law enforcement agency violated a citizen’s fundamental rights while carrying out its duties.

Sen. Bulkachuwa had filed the lawsuit against several parties, including the Attorney-General of the Federation, the NASS clerk, the State Security Service, ICPC, and the Nigeria Police Force. Among his requests to the court was a declaration that he was covered by parliamentary immunity, as enshrined in the Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act 2017, and that his freedom of speech and expression was privileged.

Additionally, he sought a declaration that, without exhausting the internal disciplinary mechanisms and obtaining the recommendations and approval of the 9th House of Senate, no other law enforcement agency of the Federal Government, including the defendants, could summon any Senate member for questioning or an interview.

Justice Ekwo concluded that Sen. Bulkachuwa’s utterance on June 10 during the Senate debate was not protected by Section 39(1) of the 1999 Constitution. He clarified that Section 39(1) did not grant individuals the freedom to say anything without limits, especially in a formal setting such as a plenary session or committee proceedings of the Senate. According to the judge, the senator’s words amounted to a confession of engaging in an act prohibited by law.

This ruling signifies the court’s commitment to upholding accountability and the rule of law, even when legislators are involved in legal proceedings.

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