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‘Misconduct’: Impeachment panel begins probe of Shaibu in Edo

‘Misconduct’: Impeachment panel begins probe of Shaibu in Edo
April 03
12:47 2024

The seven-man panel set up to investigate allegations of misconduct against Philip Shaibu, deputy governor of Edo state, has commenced sitting in Benin.

The panel was set up by Daniel Okungbowa, chief judge of Edo. It is headed by S. A. Omonuwa, a retired justice.

The commencement of the panel’s sitting follows the resolution by the state house of assembly on initiating impeachment processes against Shaibu.

Shaibu has since fallen out with Godwin Obaseki, governor of the state.

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At the panel’s inaugural sitting on Wednesday, the house of assembly was represented by Joe Ohiafi, deputy clerk, legal.

Shaibu was represented by Oladoyin Awoyale, a professor and senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

A statement signed by George Odidi, administrative secretary of the panel, last week, read: “Take notice that consequent upon the inauguration of the above panel by His Lordship the Hon. Chief Judge of Edo State, Hon. Justice Daniel Okungbowa, in line with Section 188 Subsection 5 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, the said panel shall commence sitting at Judges Conference room, New High Court Complex, Benin City on Wednesday, April 3, 2024 at 10am prompt.”

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“Parties and/or their counsel are expected to be present on that day while the complainant is expected to be ready to present its case on that day,” the statement adds.

SHAIBU KICKS AGAINST SITTING

Through his lawyer, Awoyale, Shaibu said the panel’s sitting to investigate him would amount to a fait accompli.

He argued that there was a subsisting order of interlocutory injunction granted by an Abuja federal high court, and that further hearing had been adjourned to April 8.

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Awoyale argued that with the court’s order, all parties are advised to obey the ruling.

However, Ohiafi, counsel to the house of assembly and deputy clerk, argued that the panel’s sitting was supported by section 188 (10) of the constitution which foreclosed any court from preventing the house of assembly and the panel from discharging its constitutional responsibilities.

In July, Shaibu approached a federal high court in Abuja with a suit to prevent the impeachment plot against him.

He asked the court to restrain Obaseki, the speaker of the state assembly, and the chief judge, from “initiating impeachment proceedings or sanctioning any impeachment” against him.

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Thereafter, the court restrained Obaseki, the speaker, and other defendants in the suit from initiating impeachment proceedings against Shaibu.

In September, Shaibu withdrew the suit he filed against Obaseki, paving the way for the current proceedings against him.

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