The Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking protection from possible impeachment and removal from office by his principal, Governor Godwin Obaseki.
In the motion of notice filed before the court, Shaibu requested an interlocutory injunction to stop harassment, intimidation, or embarrassment, and to allow him to carry out his duties as the deputy governor, including attending State Executive Council meetings.
The situation between Governor Obaseki and his deputy has reportedly been tense in recent months. According to multiple online reports, the conflict began when a video of Shaibu with Obaseki’s predecessor, Senator Adams Oshiomhole, during the National Assembly inauguration in Abuja went viral. Since then, according to reports, the deputy governor has faced alleged
dehumanization and humiliation by the governor.
In a motion of notice brought before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on July 28, 2023, and made available to journalists on Thursday, the appellant seeks an order of interlocutory injunction stopping the respondents or their agents from harassing, intimidating, embarrassing or preventing the applicant from carrying out the functions of his office as Deputy Governor of the state.
This includes attending State Executive Council meetings and other functions pending the determination of the substantive suit.
In the suit, the Inspector General of Police, State Security Service (also known as Department of State Services), Governor of Edo State, Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly and Chief Judge of Edo State are listed as the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th defendants respectively.
There have been reports of a rift between Obaseki and Shaibu. This reportedly became more evident when a video of Shaibu with former governor Adams Oshiomhole, who is Obaseki’s predecessor surfaced online.
The video of Shaibu and Senator Oshiomhole was made during the National Assembly inauguration in Abuja.
Shaibu’s appearance at the reception party for the newly sworn-in members of the National Assembly from the Edo north district caused a stir as Shaibu and Obaseki had since fallen out with the former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, with both camps calling each other unprintable names ahead of the 2020 election won by Obaseki.
According to reports, the deputy governor has allegedly been humiliated by the governor.
Obaseki reportedly summoned all members of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state House of Assembly for a meeting but excluded Shaibu. This and some others have been seen as moves to impeach the deputy governor.
A former deputy governor of the state, Chief Mike Ogiadomhe’s reported move to reconcile the two was futile.