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Edo dep gov loses bid to halt impeachment

A Federal High Court in Abuja has once again declined to halt the impeachment proceedings against the Edo State Deputy Governor, Phillip Shaibu, by the…

A Federal High Court in Abuja has once again declined to halt the impeachment proceedings against the Edo State Deputy Governor, Phillip Shaibu, by the State House of Assembly.

Justice James Omotosho, on Wednesday, rejected Shaibu’s application for an order of status quo to be maintained by the House of Assembly and other parties involved in the impeachment process.

Shaibu’s counsel, Professor Olawoyin Awoyale (SAN), had requested orally for an order of status quo to be maintained by the parties pending the hearing and determination of his motion on notice. However, Justice Omotoso ruled that the authority cited to request the order was not applicable in Shaibu’s case because the Governor of Edo State and the Edo State House of Assembly, who are the main actors in the impeachment bid, had not been served with the originating summons of the suit as required by law.

Justice Omotosho granted the request for the Edo State Governor and the State House of Assembly to be served with the originating summons by substituted means. He 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. The judge also directed that all court papers be served on parties in the matter using a registered courier company.

The court subsequently fixed April 15 for the hearing of the case.

Shaibu, who attended the proceedings, had joined 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) as defendants in the suit.

He sought an order of the court restraining 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 from interfering with the subject matter of the originating summons filed in the suit, pending the hearing of the motion on notice.

This is the second time the judge has refused to grant an application to stop the impeachment proceedings.

Recall that the Edo State House of Assembly on Tuesday directed the Chief Judge of the state to set up a seven-man panel to investigate the impeachment allegations levelled against the deputy governor.

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