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Court adjourns Edo Deputy Gov’s suit against impeachment to April

By News Desk

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has deferred hearing of a suit brought before it by the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, to stop impeachment moves against him by the State House of Assembly to April 15.

It directed that the relevant court processes should be served on both Governor Godwin Obaseki and the Edo State House of Assembly, through substituted means.

In a ruling delivered on Wednesday, Justice James Omotosho, explained that they must receive notices of the court hearing and other details.

According to him, all court papers be served on the parties, using a registered courier company.

“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.

Meanwhile, the judge turned down Shuaibu’s request for an interim order, compelling the parties to maintain their status quo, pending the determination of the suit.

The deputy governor’s lead counsel, Prof. Olawoyin Awoyale, had pleaded 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.

However, Justice Omotosho noted that Governor Obaseki and the Edo State Assembly, who are the defendants in the matter, have not been served with the originating processes as required by law.

Meanwhile, the plaintiff, who was in court to witness the proceeding, declined to speak with newsmen.

Cited as defendants in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/321/2024, are: the Edo State Government, Edo State Governor, Edo State House of Assembly, Edo State House of Assembly Speaker, the Clerk of the Assembly, the Chief Judge of Edo State, Inspector General of Police IGP and the Director General of the Department of State Services DSS.

The plaintiff specifically prayed 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 equally sought 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.

Other reliefs include: “An order of interim injunction, restraining the 1st to 8th defendants, whether by themselves, their agents, privies, servants, officials, representatives, and or any other person or authority acting through them, from preventing the plaintiff either by threat of removal from office or adverse actions capable of hindering the plaintiff from performing his official duties and discharging his responsibilities as the Deputy Governor of Edo State, including attending State Executive Council meetings, functions and other duties.”

As well as, “An order of interim injunction directing the defendants herein jointly, whether by themselves, their agents, privies, servants, officials, representatives, or any other person or authority acting through them, to maintain status quo ante bellum prevailing before the issuance of the purported notice or petition to commence removal of the Plaintiff from office pending the hearing and the final determination of the motion on notice.”

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