Court Halts Gov Obaseki’s Impeachment Moves against Shaibu
The Federal High Court in Abuja, presided over by Justice Ahmed Mohammed, has issued a temporary injunction halting the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, from trying to remove his deputy, Phillip Shaibu, due to their unbridgeable differences.
Justice Mohammed issued the temporary order on Friday while ruling in a motion on notice filed by Shaibu, praying the court to stop the move to ease him out of office by his principal.
In the ruling, Justice Mohammed directed the parties in the suit to maintain status quo and to be in force till the time the defendants shall show cause as directed in another ruling of the court made on July 27th, 2023.
IGP, SSS, and Obaseki were not represented in court, so Justice Mohammed ordered that notice of the hearing be served to them. The hearing was then postponed until August 10th.
In his initial summons, Shaibu asked the court to decide whether Obaseki has the authority to direct the IGP and SSS to harass him and bar him from entering his office to perform his constitutionally guaranteed duties in light of the provisions of sections 186 and 193 of the 1999 Constitution.
In addition, he asked the court to determine whether the governor has the authority to order the Speaker and Chief Judge to launch impeachment proceedings against him with the goal of removing him from office on any other basis than accusations of misconduct, as provided for in section 188 of the 1999 Constitution.
Shaibu also requested that the Court rule on whether Obaseki can consciously refuse to accompany him to or notify him of the State Executive Council (SEC) meeting or any other meetings or functions inside or outside of Edo without breaking the express terms of the law in light of the provisions of Section 193 of the 1999 Constitution.
Shaibu requested that the court rule that the IGP, SSS, and Obaseki did not have the authority to intimidate, harass, embarrass, or molest him after the issues were successfully resolved in his favor.
Additionally, he requested that the court rule that Obaseki, the Speaker, and the Chief Judge lacked the authority to remove him from office on any basis other than gross misconduct and that the Speaker and Chief Judge, concurrently, lacked the necessary authority to appoint a 7-man panel of inquiry on the same basis.
Shaibu sought an order of injunction prohibiting the IGP, SSS, and Obaseki, as well as their representatives and privies, from harassing, embarrassing, or intimidating him or preventing him from performing his legal duties.
Additionally, he requested an order of injunction prohibiting Obaseki, the Speaker, and the Chief Judge from acting in any way that would advance the impeachment process. A second order specifically prohibited the Chief Judge from following Obaseki’s and the Speaker’s instructions to form any panel of inquiry with the intention of removing him from office.
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