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Again, court declines Shaibu’s request to stop impeachment proceedings

Philip Shaibu, Edo state governor Philip Shaibu, Edo state governor

For the second time, James Omotosho, presiding judge of the federal high court in Abuja, declined to grant the application of Philip Shaibu seeking to restrain Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo, and others, from impeaching him.

However, the federal high court on Wednesday granted the application of Shaibu, deputy governor of Edo, to serve Obaseki with court documents through substituted means.

In the motion dated and filed on March 8, Shaibu, through his lawyer, Oladoyin Awoyale, sued Obaseki, Edo state government, the house of assembly, and speaker as 1st to 4th defendants.

Also joined in the suit are clerk of the assembly, chief judge of Edo, inspector-general of police (IGP) and director-general of state security service, as 5th to 8th defendants respectively.

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Shaibu sought an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants from carrying out any action to remove him from office, pending the hearing of the motion on notice.

“The motion ex parte for interim injunction dated and filed 8th day of March 2024 is hereby refused,” the judge held.

The judge had ordered the lawyer to serve all the defendants with the processes and hearing notices and adjourned until March 18 for hearing.

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WEDNESDAY’S PROCEEDINGS

At the resumption of hearing on Wednesday, Awoyale told the court that Obaseki and Edo house of assembly, who are the principal actors in the matter, have not been served.

The counsel said the 6th, 7th and 8th defendants had been served.

He asked the court to grant the prayer to serve the court papers on Obaseki and the state house of assembly by substituted means.

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He said the court documents should be pasted at the gates of Edo state government house, and house of assembly complex, or by courier service.

Awoyale also prayed the court for an order for parties to maintain a status quo pending the hearing and determination of the suit.

The judge granted the prayers that the court documents be served on Obaseki and the state house of assembly through substituted means.

He declined the application of Shaibu that the parties should maintain status quo pending the determination of the suit.

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He adjourned the matter until April 15 for hearing.

IMPEACHMENT SAGA

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On March 6, the assembly served Shaibu with an impeachment notice after a petition against him was signed by 21 of 24 members of the legislative house.

On Tuesday, the Edo assembly directed Daniel Okungbowa, the state’s chief judge, to set up a seven-member panel to investigate allegations of gross misconduct against Shaibu.

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The move to impeach Shaibu intensified after he was declared winner of a parallel governorship primary election that was held at his residence in Benin City, the state capital.

Asue Ighodalo won the election backed by the national working committee (NWC) of the party, while Shaibu was announced the winner of another primary organised by a faction of the PDP in the state.

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