Nigerian Senator, Adamu Bulkachuwa, has lost suit seeking the Federal High Court in Abuja to stop the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Department of State Services (DSS) from probing him over the comment he made during the valedictory session of the 9th National Assembly.
This comes after the Senator from Bauchi said his wife, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, who at the time she was President of the Court of Appeal between April 2014 and March 2020 “extended help” to some politicians.
This, however, triggered reactions from Nigerians calling for an investigation and trial.
At resumed hearing of the suit, the lawmaker asked the court to bar two government agencies from probing him.
But the judgment delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo, on Tuesday, held that the suit lacked merit and ought to be dismissed.
Justice Ekwo said Bulkachuwa, being a lawmaker of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, ought to understand the implications of the statement that he made on the floor of the Senate.
He said the legislative immunity that Bulkachuwa claims in this case does not avail him.
The Judge established that it is when the law enforcement agencies are found to have contravened on the fundamental rights of a citizen while carrying out their function that a cause of action could be said to have arisen.
Recall that Senator Bulkachuwa had earlier sued the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the clerk of the National Assembly, the State Security Service, ICPC, and the Nigeria Police Force.
He had asked the court to declare that he “is covered, privileged, and protected by the parliamentary immunity as enshrined in Section 1 of the Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act 2017 and freedom of speech and expression made thereto is privileged”.
The lawmaker also prayed the court to declare that without exhausting the internal disciplinary mechanism, recommendations, and approval of the 9th House of Senate, no other law enforcement agent of the Federal Government, including the defendants can invite any member of the Senate for questioning/interview.
Justice Ekwo said the utterance made by Bulkachuwa on the floor of the Debate on June 10 was not covered by Section 39(1) of the 1999 Constitution.
According to the Court, the clear words of Section 39 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) cannot be interpreted to mean that a person can say anything he likes.