Impeachment Panel Overrules Shaibu, Adjourns Sitting To Today

The seven-man panel chaired by retired Justice S.A. Omonuwa, which was established by the Chief Judge of Edo State, Justice Daniel Okungbowa, to investigate allegations of gross misconduct against Deputy Governor Comrade Philip Shaibu, has decided to proceed with its investigation despite objections raised by Shaibu’s counsel.

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During the proceedings, Professor Oladoyin Awoyale (SAN), Shaibu’s counsel, objected to the continuation of the investigation, citing an order from an Abuja Federal High Court that adjourned the case until April 8, 2024. The court requested the parties to appear and present their arguments regarding an interlocutory injunction against the impeachment proceedings initiated by the Edo State House of Assembly.

In response to the objection, Justice Omonuwa ruled that the Federal High Court order only required the parties to show cause. Ohiafi Joe, the Deputy Clerk, Legal, Edo State House of Assembly and counsel to the House of Assembly, argued that the Constitution of Nigeria, specifically Section 188(10), grants the House of Assembly and the panel the authority to carry out their constitutional responsibilities, and that the provision would need to be altered to halt the investigation.

Justice Omonuwa upheld the panel’s decision to continue with the investigation and requested the House of Assembly to present its case. However, Awoyale informed the panel that his client would no longer participate in the investigation and sought permission to be excused. He clarified that this decision did not mean they were waiving their right to defend their client, but rather they were obeying the court’s directive to appear on April 8, 2024.

The panel chairman, Justice Omonuwa, reiterated that the investigation would proceed and adjourned the sitting to April 4, 2024.

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