On Tuesday, a Federal High Court in Abuja issued a restraining order, preventing Governor Engr. Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State and the state’s attorney-general from re-arresting or detaining Rep Alhassan Ado Doguwa until a substantive suit is heard and determined.
Justice Donatus Okorowo granted the order in response to an oral application made by Doguwa’s counsel, Afam Osigwe, SAN.
Recall that Doguwa, through his lawyer, had filed a lawsuit with the reference number FHC/ABJ/CS/831/23, seeking an order to protect his fundamental rights.
The lawmaker, who represents the Doguwa/Tundun Wada Federal Constituency of Kano State in the House of Representatives, filed a lawsuit against the Attorney-General of the Federation, the Inspector-General of Police, the executive Governor of Kano State, and the A-G as the first to fourth defendants, respectively.
In a previously submitted motion ex-parte on June 20, Osigwe, acting on behalf of Doguwa, requested court protection against an alleged plot by the state government to arrest and detain him regarding the electoral violence that occurred during the presidential and national assembly elections, resulting in fatalities in the state.
Justice Okorowo subsequently instructed all parties involved in the case to maintain their current positions until the substantive matter is heard and resolved.
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 on the next adjourned date.
When the hearing resumed on Tuesday, Osigwe notified the court that the governor (3rd defendant) and the Attorney-General (4th defendant) had been served their documents at around 2 p.m. on Monday.
Osigwe expressed his intention to address the concerns raised by the state government.
The attorney requested a brief adjournment and asked the court to extend its previous order, issued on June 20, which instructed all parties to maintain the existing state of affairs until the substantive case is heard and resolved.
However, M. K. Umar, representing the governor and the Attorney-General, objected to Osigwe’s verbal request for an extension of the order.
Umar contended that they had complied with the court’s directive to present reasons why Doguwa’s requests should not be granted, as they had submitted the required documents.
‘Furthermore, we have also reacted to the applicant’s substantive motion.’
he said, ‘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.’
In response, Osigwe informed the court that Umar’s reply had only validated their concerns regarding the state government’s intentions against his client.
He asserted that once parties have submitted themselves to the court, they should demonstrate respect by refraining from any further actions until the court has reached a decision. To support his argument, he referenced a Supreme Court ruling.
‘The Supreme Court says irrespective of whether an injunctive order has been made, parties should submit themselves to the decision of the court,’ he added.
Seeking an assurance from the state’s counsel, he made a plea to the court.
Umar, in turn, provided reassurances to the judge that the state government would not take any further steps throughout the duration of the court case.
In a brief ruling, Justice Okorowo recognised Umar’s assurances and directed all parties to uphold the status quo until the main issue is heard and resolved. The judge established a fresh hearing date, slated for July 14th.