Ex-Kogi Deputy Governor Impeachment: Court Adjourns Suit to February 27th for Hearing - THE NEW DAWN ONLINE


Friday, January 17, 2020

Ex-Kogi Deputy Governor Impeachment: Court Adjourns Suit to February 27th for Hearing

A Kogi state High Court, sitting in Lokoja, has fixed February 27, for the ruling on whether the removal of Elder Simon Achuba and the subsequent nomination of Chief Edward Onoja followed due process.

The former deputy governor had filed a suit challenging his “unlawful” impeachment by the Kogi State House of Assembly.

He sought for the reliefs of the court to declare the impeachment as illegal and be reinstated as the rightful Deputy Governor of the state.

At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, the High Court 4 presided over by Justice John Olorunfemi reserved judgement for February 27 after listening to counsels of the claimant and the defendants.

Making his submission, J. S. Okutepa, Counsel to the former deputy governor, asked the court to declare the removal of his client from office by the state assembly as a violation of the Constitution, while urging the court to declare the actions and subsequent nomination of another person to the office by the lawmakers as null and void.

Speaking while adumbrating on the case, Okutepa described the action of the legislators as a “constitutional coup, hatched and executed in a democracy”.

He argued that the Assembly should have relied on Section 188 subsection 8, to stop further action on the impeachment move having discovered that the former Deputy Governor was not found wanting.

Okutepa said the onus to produce the remaining volumes of the report purported to have indicted the former Deputy Governor rest with the defendants which they fail to do, while pointing out that the 29th defendants also did not file a counter-notice on the matter.

In his response, Chief Adeniyi, counsel to the 1st to 4th defendants prayed the court to dismiss the suit filed by the claimant as he has no power to challenge the proceedings of the state assembly.

According to him, the claimant was unable to provide the remaining volumes of the report that he claimed didn’t indict him, insisting that the onus to prove whether he was guilty or not rest with him.

Also, in their separate responses, Barr. Isaac Ekpa, counsel to the 5th to 25th defendants, Z.E.Abbas, Counsel to the 26th to the 28th defendants, urged the court to decline jurisdiction on the matter and to seek to find out what constitute an abuse of office as alleged by the claimant and to so dismiss the originating summons for lacking in merit.

Similarly, M.Y Abdullahi counsel to the 30th defendant, urged that the matter be thrown out as the exhibits presented were not certified.

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