Justice James Omotosho of the Federal High Court in Abuja has rejected a plea to halt the ongoing impeachment proceedings against the incumbent Edo State deputy governor, Mr. Phillip Shaibu, by the State House of Assembly,leadership reports.

Shaibu, represented by his lawyer, Professor Olawoyin Awoyale, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), had orally requested an order to maintain the status quo among involved parties until the court hears and decides on his motion on notice.

However, Justice Omotoso ruled that the requested action couldn’t be granted because the Governor of Edo State and the Edo State House of Assembly, central figures in the impeachment attempt, hadn’t been properly served with the originating summons of the lawsuit as per legal requirements. Nevertheless, the judge allowed for the Edo State governor and the State House of Assembly to be served through alternate means.

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Specifically, Justice Omotoso ordered the court process to be posted at the entrance gates of the Edo State Government House and the State House of Assembly Complex in Benin City, the capital of Edo State. Additionally, he directed all court papers to be served on involved parties via a registered courier company.

The hearing for the case was scheduled for April 15.

Deputy Governor Phillip Shaibu, present in court during Wednesday’s proceedings, declined to comment to journalists afterward.

In motion FHC/ABJ/CS/321/2024, the first to eighth defendants were listed as 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 Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Shaibu’s lawsuit sought court orders restraining certain defendants from commencing any impeachment process or interfering with his duties as deputy governor until the court hears the motion on notice. These orders included maintaining the status quo before any actions aimed at his removal from office began.


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