In a surprising twist, a Federal High Court in Kano has declared the culpable homicide and criminal conspiracy charges against Alhassan Ado Doguwa, the majority leader of the House of Representatives, as unconstitutional. The court’s decision has sparked a legal debate and raised questions about jurisdiction.

Breaking Down the Ruling: Unveiling the Legal Drama

The trial judge, Justice Mohammad Yunusa, ruled in favor of Doguwa’s motion on notice, which argued that his fundamental rights had been violated and that his detention was unlawful. Justice Yunusa emphasized that the Chief Magistrate Court did not have the jurisdiction to handle charges related to criminal conspiracy, as exclusive powers are granted to the Federal High Court under section 251(1).

Balancing Act: Ensuring Due Process

While granting Doguwa bail, the judge made it clear that it was not intended to obstruct the ongoing trial. He stressed the importance of following due process, ensuring that the case is conducted within the appropriate legal framework.

Seeking Justice: Protecting Fundamental Rights

In an affidavit submitted to the court, Doguwa’s lawyer, Nureini Jimoh, SAN, sought the enforcement of his client’s fundamental rights, as guaranteed by the constitution. They argued that Doguwa’s detention by the police was unlawful and infringed upon his right to liberty and freedom, as protected by the constitution.

Legal Chess Game: Challenging the Competence of the Lower Court

The applicant’s lawyer argued that the Chief Magistrate Court’s incarceration of Doguwa was null, void, and unconstitutional. They claimed that the lower court lacked the competence to try criminal charges, further fueling the legal controversy surrounding the case.

The Prosecution’s Stand: Challenging the Federal High Court’s Jurisdiction

Expressing dissatisfaction with the court’s decision, the prosecution counsel, A.B. Saleh, questioned the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court to issue such orders. They alleged that Justice Yunusa’s actions amounted to a gross abuse of the court process.

The Verdict: Protecting Fundamental Rights

Justice Yunusa clarified that citizens have the right, under section 46(1) of the 1999 Constitution, to approach any high court to challenge attempts or breaches of their fundamental rights. This ruling highlights the significance of protecting individual liberties and ensuring access to justice.