Edo CJ Sets Up Panel To Investigate Shaibu As Dep Gov Serves Court Papers Halting Impeachment Move

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THE Edo State  Chief Judge, Justice Daniel Okungbowa, Friday set up a seven-man panel to investigate the allegations levelled against Edo State Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, this is even as the former students union activist same day served his principal, Governor Godwin Obaseki and the House of Assembly originating summons in a case instituted to halt the impeachment proceeding against him.

Eighteen-Eleven Media reports that though the court bailiff was earlier sent away by the security personnel at the Government House, the embattled deputy governor however succeeded in getting the summons to the governor by courier Friday morning.

In a similar vein, the court bailiff succeeded in pasting the summons at the entrance of the state House of Assembly. 

It will be recalled that Justice James Omotosho had on Wednesday declined an oral application by Shaibu’s lawyer, Prof. Olawoyin Awoyale (SAN), asking the court to order parties in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/321/2024, to maintain the status quo.

Justice Omotosho held that: “The governor of Edo State and the Edo State House of Assembly, who are the principal actors in the matter, have not been served with the originating summons of the suit as required by law.”

The judge however granted Shaibu’s prayer to serve the court papers on Obaseki and the state House of Assembly by substituted means.

Meanwhile, a statement Friday from the office of the Edo State CJ indicates that the seven-member panel is to be chaired by a retired justice, Justice S.A. Omonua.

The statement signed by the Chief Registrar of Edo State High Court, B. O. Osawaru, maintains that the CJ was acting in accordance with the powers vested on him by Section 188(5) of the 1999 Constitution.

This is to bring to the notice of the general public that in line with Section 188(5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the Honourable Chief Judge of Edo State, Honourable Justice D. I. Okungbowa, has constituted the panel of seven persons to investigate the allegations contained in the impeachment notice against the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu.

The said panel of seven persons is comprised of the following persons: Hon. Justice S.A. Omonua (retd.) – Chairman, Professor Violet Aigbokhaebo- member, Professor Boniface Onomion Edegbai -member, Professor Theresa Akpoghome – member, Oghogho Ayodele Oviasu – member, Andrew Oliha- member and Idris Abdulkareen- member.”

It will be recalled that the Edo State House of Assembly on 5 March commenced impeachment proceedings against Comrade Shaibu, accusing him of perjury and leaking government secrets. 

On 19 March 2024, vide a resolution passed by 19 out of the 24 members, the House directed the CJ to constitute a seven-man panel to investigate the deputy governor.

The same day, Comrade Shaibu approached a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja asking the court, through an ex-parte motion, to restrain the Assembly, the CJ and his principal, Governor Godwin Obaseki, from taking further action on the impeachment process pending the determination of the substantive matter before the court.

In the motion dated and filed on 18 March, the deputy governor, through his lawyer, Prof Olawoyin Awoyale (SAN), also joined the Edo State government, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, the Clerk of the Assembly, the Director-General of the Department of State Security (DSS) and the Inspector-General of Police. 

The court presided over by Justice James Omotoso, however, turned down the request, insisting rather than all parties being put on notice but granted the request that the parties be served by substituted means. It adjourned the matter to April 15, 2024.

 

Eighteen-Eleven Media 

 

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