Home News Phillip Shaibu’s Impeachment Bid Fails Again, as Edo Assembly Tasks CJ to...

Phillip Shaibu’s Impeachment Bid Fails Again, as Edo Assembly Tasks CJ to Set Up Panel to Probe him

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By Uche Amunike

A Federal High Court in Abuja has refused to stop the impeachment bid by the Edo State House of Assembly, against the Edo State Deputy Governor, Phillip Shaibu, on Wednesday.

Recall that on March 5, 2024, the State House of Assembly kicked off impeachment proceedings against Shaibu for allegations bordering on leaking of government’s secrets.

As a result, Shaibu filed an ex-parts motion marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/321/2024, seeking an order of the court, which will restrict the State House of Assembly, the Speaker and the Clerk from commencing any process by holding proceedings or by setting up any panel that will probe or investigate him for removal, pending the hearing of a motion on notice.

In his ruling, however, Justice James Omotosho, on March 13, refused to grant the application.

While the proceedings were ongoing, Wednesday, Phillip Shaibu’s lawyer, Prof. Olawoyin Awoyale demanded that an order of status quo be maintained by parties, pending the hearing and determination of his motion on notice.

Justice Omotosho however, refused to grant the request, stating that both the Edo State Governor 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 according to the requirements of the law.

He went on to grant the application by the Deputy Governor, seeking to serve process on the Edo State Governor and the State House of Assembly by substituted means, while ordering that the court process is pasted at the entrance of the Edo State Government House, as well as the gate of the Edo State House of Assembly Complex in Benin.

He also mandated that every court paper should be served to parties in the matter, only through a registered courier company and then, adjourned the matter to April 15 for the next hearing.

Meanwhile, the Majority Leader of the Edo State House of Assembly, Charity Aiguobarueghan, on Wednesday, stated that there was no need to give the Chief Judge an ultimatum to set up the panel that will investigate the allegation of gross misconduct leveled against Phillip Shaibu.

According to him, the constitution already made a provision that such a panel should be set up within seven days. Hear him: ‘We have not given the Chief Judge an ultimatum to set up the panel. If he doesn’t set it up today (Wednesday), he can set it up, the next day or the next one. However, he has seven days to set up the panel by the constitution.’

Notedly, during plenary on Monday, 19 lawmakers, out of 24 lawmakers voted in favour of the resolution to set up a seven-man panel to investigate the deputy governor.

This impeachment bid is the latest development in the rift between the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy, Phillip Shaibu. The tense atmosphere between both men, since Shaibu declared his intention to join in the gubernatorial race since last year, is not lost on the people of Edo State.

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