Court Defers Philip Shaibu Impeachment Case till April 15

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The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday, deferred hearing of a suit the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Mr. Philip Shaibu, filed to stop the move by the State House of Assembly to impeach him from office, till April 15.

Justice James Omotosho directed that the relevant court processes should be served on both Governor Godwin Obaseki and the Edo State House of Assembly, through substituted means.

According to the court, the processes should be served on the defendants, by pasting same at the entrance gate of the Edo State Government House, as well as at the gate of the State House of Assembly Complex, both in Benin.

More so, the court directed that all court papers be served on the parties, using a registered courier company.

Justice Omotosho made the orders after he refused an oral application the deputy governor made for an interim order to compel the parties to maintain their status quo, pending the determination of the suit.

Philip Shaibu’s lead counsel, Prof. Olawoyin Awoyale, SAN, had pleaded the court to preserve the Res (subject matter) of the litigation, by ordering all the parties not to take any step that could render the pending action worthless.

However, Justice Omotosho noted that Governor Obaseki and the Edo State Assembly, who are the defendants in the matter, have not been served with the originating processes as required by law.

Meanwhile, the plaintiff, who was in court to witness the proceeding, declined to speak with newsmen.

Cited as defendants in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/321/2024, are: 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 the Director General of the Department of State Services DSS.

The plaintiff specifically prayed the court for an order, restricting the 3rd and 5th 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 his motion on notice.

He equally sought an order of 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.

Other reliefs include: “An order of interim injunction, restraining the 1st to 8th defendants, whether by themselves, their agents, privies, servants, officials, representatives, and or any other person or authority acting through them, from preventing the plaintiff either by threat of removal from office or adverse actions capable of hindering the plaintiff from performing his official duties and discharging his responsibilities as the Deputy Governor of Edo State, including attending State Executive Council meetings, functions and other duties.”

As well as, “An order of interim injunction directing the defendants herein jointly, whether by themselves, their agents, privies, servants, officials, representatives, or any other person or authority acting through them, to maintain status quo ante bellum prevailing before the issuance of the purported notice or petition to commence removal of the Plaintiff from office pending the hearing and the final determination of the motion on notice.”

Source: Vanguard

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