Impeachment: Court refuses Shaibu’s prayer to maintain status quo 

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday, refused an oral application by Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu for an interim order to compel the parties to maintain status quo, pending the determination of the suit challenging impeachment move against him.

The Edo State House of Assembly, had on Tuesday, directed the state Chief Judge, Justice Daniel Okungbowa to set up a seven man panel to investigate the allegations levelled against the state deputy governor, Shaibu.

The state Assembly, had accused the deputy governor of misconduct and divulging government information to the public.

At the hearing in the suit by Shaibu on Wednesday, through counsel, Prof. Olawoyin Awoyale, SAN, pleaded with the court to preserve the res (subject matter) of the litigation, by ordering all the parties not to take any step that could render the pending action worthless.

Trial judge, Justice James Omotosho, who refused the prayer, directed that the relevant court processes should be served on both Governor Godwin Obaseki and the Edo State House of Assembly, through substituted means.

According to the court, the processes should be served on the defendants, by pasting same at the entrance gate of the Edo State Government House, as well as at the gate of the State House of Assembly Complex, both in Benin City.

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The court also directed that all court papers be served on the parties, using a registered courier company.

Justice Omotosho adjourned further hearing in the matter till April 15, 2024.

Defendants in the suit are the Edo State Government, Edo State Governor, Edo State House of Assembly, Edo State House of Assembly Speaker, Clerk of the Assembly, Chief Judge of Edo State, Inspector General of Police IGP and Director General of Department of State Services DSS.

Shaibu is praying the court for an order, restricting the 3rd and 5th defendants from commencing any process by issuing a notice of allegation, holding proceedings, or setting up any panel of investigation for his removal, pending the hearing of his motion on notice.

He also wants an order of interim injunction, restraining the defendants, whether by themselves or their agents, from interfering with the subject matter of the originating summons filed in the suit, either by way of taking any adverse actions in relation to any attempt or process targeted at his removal from office as the deputy governor of Edo State, pending the hearing of the motion on notice.

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