Court Refuses To Stop Shaibu’s Impeachment

Justice James Omotosho of a Federal High Court in Abuja has turned down request to stop the alleged impeachment move against Edo State Deputy Governor Phillip Shaibu by the State House of Assembly.

His request for an order of status quo to be maintained by the House of Assembly and others involved in the impeachment saga was turned down by the court.

Shaibu through his lawyer, Professor Olawoyin Awoyale, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), had orally requested an order of status quo to be maintained by parties pending the hearing and determination of his motion on notice.

In reaction, Justice Omotoso held that the cited authority was not applicable in Shaibu’s case because the governor of Edo State and the Edo State House of Assembly, who are the principal actors in the impeachment bid, had not been served with the originating summons of the suit as required by law.

However, the judge granted the request that the Edo State governor and the State House of Assembly be served with the originating summons by substituted means.

Specifically, Justice Omotoso ordered that the court process be pasted at the entrance gate of the Edo State Government House and the gate of the State House of Assembly Complex, both in Benin.

Besides, the judge also directed that all court papers be served on parties in the matter with the use of a registered courier company.

Justice Omotoso subsequently fixed April 15 for hearing of the case.

The deputy governor, Phillip Shaibu, who was in the court room throughout Wednesday’s proceedings, declined to speak with newsmen.

In the motion marked FHC/ABJ/CS/321/2024, the Edo State Government, Edo State Governor, Edo State House of Assembly, Edo State House of Assembly Speaker, the Clerk of the Assembly, the Chief Judge of Edo State, Inspector General of Police IGP and Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS) were listed as the first to eighth defendants.

 

Shaibu, in the suit, sought an order of the court restricting the third to fifth defendants from commencing any process by issuing a notice of allegation, holding proceedings, or setting up any panel of investigation for his removal pending the hearing of a motion on notice.

 

He also sought an interim injunction restraining the defendants, whether by themselves or their agents, from interfering with the subject matter of the originating summons filed in the suit either by way of taking any adverse actions in relation to any attempt or process targeted at his removal from office as the deputy governor of Edo State pending the hearing of the motion on notice, among others.

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