Edo CJ raises panel for Shaibu’s impeachment trial

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The Chief Judge of Edo State, Justice Daniel Okungbowa, has set up a seven-man committee to investigate alleged constitutional infractions against Philip Shaibu, the state’s deputy governor.

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Registrar of the Edo State Judiciary, Benson Osagie Osawaru, in a statement dated March 22, 2024, with reference number CR/4837/Vol. II/131, said the panel of seven is chaired by Justice S.A. Omonua, rtd.

It added that other members are Professor Violet Aigbokhaevbo, Professor Boniface Onomion Edegbai, Professor Theresa Akpoghome, Mr Oghogho Ayodele Oviasu, Dr Andrew Oliha and Mr Idris Abdulkareen.

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The statement reads: “This is to bring to the notice of the general public that in line with Section 188(5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the Chief Judge of Edo State, Justice D.I. Okungbowa, has constituted the panel of seven persons to investigate the allegations contained in the impeachment notice against the deputy governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu.”

Edo State House of Assembly had, on March 19, 2024, through a resolution passed by 19 out of the 24 members, directed the CJ to constitute a seven-man panel to investigate Shaibu.

Shaibu, however, approached an Abuja Federal High Court the same day asking the court, through an ex-parte motion, to restrain the assembly, the CJ and his principal, Governor Godwin Obaseki, from taking further action on the impeachment process pending the determination of the substantive matter before the court.

In the motion dated and filed on March 18, the deputy governor, through his lawyer, Professor Oladoyin Awoyale, also joined the Edo State Government, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Clerk of the Assembly, the Director General of the Department of State Security, DSS, and the Inspector General of Police

Though the court, presided over by Justice James Omotoso, did not grant Shaibu’s request, it said all parties be put on notice.

While adjourning the matter to April 15, 2024, the court granted the request that the parties be served by substituted means.

 

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