Impeachment: Shaibu to paste court papers on Obaseki’s office

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The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Wednesday, declined to halt the impeachment proceedings activated by the Edo State House of Assembly against the Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu.

Justice James Omotosho declined an oral application by Shaibu’s lawyer, Prof. Olawoyin Awoyale, (SAN), asking the court to order parties in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/321/2024, to maintain the status quo.

In declining the prayer, the judge noted that “The Governor of Edo State and the Edo State House of Assembly, who are the principal actors in the matter, have not been served with the Originating Summons of the suit as required by law.’’

He subsequently granted Shaibu’s prayer to serve the court papers on Obaseki and the state House of Assembly by substituted means.

Justice Omotoso ordered that the court process be pasted at the entrance gate of the Edo State Government House and the gate of the state House of Assembly Complex in Benin.

The Judge also directed that all court papers be served on parties in the matter with the use of a registered courier company.

Justice Omotoso adjourned further proceedings till April 15.

The Edo State House of Assembly had on March 5, 2024, commenced impeachment proceedings against Shaibu over allegations of leaking of government’s secrets.

On Tuesday, the Assembly wrote to the Chief Judge of the state to constitute a seven-man panel to probe the allegations against Shaibu.

To stop the impeachment Shaibu filed the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/321/2024 before Justice Omotoso.

He is praying for an order restraining the defendants from proceeding with his impeachment.

However, for the second time on Wednesday, the judge refused to grant Shaibu a temporary relief to halt the impeachment move.

The judge had earlier in a ruling on March 13 turned down Shaibu’s ex parte application seeking an interim order to halt the proceedings pending the final determination of the suit.

“The motion ex parte for interim injunction dated and filed 8th day of March 2024 is hereby refused,” the judge held.

He adjourned till Wednesday for hearing in another motion ex parte brought by Shaibu seeking substituted service on the defendants due to his inability to serve them.

The impeachment move is believed to be the latest development in the rift between Shaibu and his principal, Governor Godwin Obaseki. There had been an uneasy calm between the deputy governor and his principal since last year when Shaibu declared his interest to join this year’s Edo governorship race.