Edo Deputy’s Impeachment: Constitution Empowers Edo Assembly To Remove Shaibu – Says House Clerk

The 7-man impeachment investigative panel that was set up by the Edo State Chief Judge, Justice Daniel Okungbowa, to investigate the allegations against the State Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, has ended its sitting on Friday afternoon.

On the first sitting of the panel on Wednesday, Professor Oladoyin Awoyale (SAN), the counsel to the Deputy Governor, had staged a walk out of the panel after he raised an objection to the continuation of the investigation in view of the order of an Abuja Federal High Court which adjourned the case filed before it by Shaibu till April 8, for parties in the matter to come and show cause why the court should grant or refuse the prayers for interlocutory injunction against the impeachment processes.

Justice Omonuwa (retired), Chairman of the panel, while giving his ruling, said the Federal High Court in Abuja only asked parties to come and show cause.

Deputy Clerk, Legal, Edo State House of Assembly, Ohaifa Joe, who is the counsel for the House of Assembly had, while arguing his position, said that by virtue of the provisions of the Constitution, Section 188 (10), no court has the right to prevent the House of Assembly, or the panel so set up, from performing its constitutional responsibilities.

Ohiafi further argued that Awoyale (SAN), must convince the panel that the provision of the constitution had been altered for the panel to sustain his argument.

Justice Omonuwa said the Federal High Court in Abuja only asked parties to come and show cause. He said that the panel would continue and asked the House of Assembly to state its case.

Responding to the ruling, Awoyale told the panel that his client would not be able to continue to participate in the investigation and sought the panel’s permission to be excused.

When asked whether he was waving his right to defend his client, the SAN answered in the negative, stressing that parties must obey the court decision that they should appear before it to show cause.

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Probed further if he was “arresting the ruling of the panel”, the Counsel answered again in the negative and reiterated the need to obey the court which would be sitting on Monday, April 8, 2024.

On Day 2, neither Comrade Shaibu, his counsel or any of his witness appeared before the panel. Chairman of the panel, Justice Omonuwa, had to adjourn the proceedings to the third day, Friday, April 5th to give the Shaibu team another opportunity to come and state its case.

However, on the third day, the same scenario played out as nobody from Comrade Shaibu’s side appeared before the panel. The panel had no choice than to wrap up its sittings.

According to Justice Omonuwa: “Panel’s proceedings were adjourned to today for the last time for the respondent to present his defence.

“The respondent is still not before the panel. The panel is therefore closing its sitting to retire to consider its report as provided for by the Constitution.”

A part of section 188 of the Constitution which Comrade Shaibu and his legal team seem not to be paying attention to states: “No proceedings or determination of the Panel or of the House of Assembly or any matter relating to such proceedings or determination shall be entertained or questioned.”

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