Court renews order halting alleged plot to impeach Edo Deputy Gov, Shaibu

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The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Thursday, deferred till August 22, hearing of the suit the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shuaibu, filed to halt the alleged plot to impeach him from office.

However, the court, in a ruling by Justice Ahmed Mohammed, restated the order it made on August 4, which mandated all the parties in the suit to maintain status quo ante bellum, pending the hearing and determination of the case.

Cited as 1st to 5th defendants in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/ CS/1027/2023, are; the Inspector General of Police, State Security Service, Governor of Edo state, Godwin Obaseki, Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly and the Chief Judge of Edo State.

At the resumed proceedings in the matter on Thursday, whereas the 1st Defendant, IGP, was not represented by a lawyer, the 2nd Defendant, SSS, through its lawyer, Mr. I. Harold, told the court that it had yet to file any process to show cause why reliefs the deputy governor is seeking in the suit should not be granted.

He contended that the Edo state deputy governor was wrong to join the security agency as a party in the suit.

Besides, Herold, told the court that the agency has filed a counter affidavit to challenge the competence of the main suit.

“We are contending that we ought not have been brought before this court in the first place.

“That is why we did not find it necessary to show cause as we have no business in this matter. We are waiting for the substantive application,”counsel to the 2nd Defendant added.

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Meanwhile, counsel to the plaintiff, Mr. George Ibrahim, told the court that the IGP, who was not represented, was duly served with a hearing notice on August 4.

“My lord this matter is slated for the Defendants to show cause. But so far, we were only served with the affidavit of the 3rd and 4th Defendants, jointly, and that of the 5th Defendant.

“We have not received any process from the 1st and 2nd Defendants,” the Plaintiff’s counsel added.

While Governor Obaseki was represented by Ms. R. Okotiebo, the Attorney General of Edo State, Oluwole Uzzi, announced his appearance for the Chief Judge of Edo State who is the 5th Defendant in the matter.

Following failure by some of the Defendants to file their processes, Justice Mohammed adjourned the matter, even as he ordered the service of hearing notices on all the parties.

Justice Mohammed directed all the parties to continue to maintain the status quo ante bellum, pending the determination of the case.

Specifically, the Edo deputy governor had in his Originating Summons, prayed the court to among other things, determine whether in view of the provisions of sections 186 and 193 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, Governor Obaseki, has power to instigate the IGP and SSS to harass, intimidate, molest and prevent him from accessing his office to carry out his constitutionally guaranteed duties.

He further asked the court to ascertain whether the Governor has the power to instigate the Speaker and the Chief Judge to commence impeachment proceedings against him with a view to remove him from office on any other ground other than allegations of misconduct as contained in section 188 of the 1999 Constitution.

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The Plaintiff urged the court to determine whether in view of the provisions of section 193 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, the governor, can deliberately refuse to carry him along or inform him of the State Executive Council (SEC) Meeting or any other meetings or functions within and outside Edo state, without violating the express provision of the law.

Upon the determination of the issues, the Plaintiff wants the court to declare that the IGP, SSS and governor Obaseki are bereft of the power to intimidate, harass, embarrass or molest him.

He wants the court to also declare that the governor Obaseki, the Speaker and the CJ, have no power to impeach him on any ground other than gross misconduct.

The Plaintiff prayed the court to hold that the Speaker and the CJ, lack the requisite power to set up a 7-Man panel of Inquiry for the purpose of impeaching him.

He urged the court to issue an order of injunction, restraining the IGP, SSS and governor Obaseki and their agents and privies from harassing, embarrassing, intimidating or preventing him from carrying out his legitimate duties.

As well as an order of injunction, restraining governor Obaseki, the Speaker and the CJ from taking any action or step on the impeachment plan, as well as an order stopping the CJ from taking instructions from governor Obaseki and the Speaker with a view to setting up any panel of Inquiry for the purpose of impeaching him from office.

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