In a recent development, Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court Abuja has issued a temporary order to halt the impeachment process against the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Phillip Shaibu. The move comes as a response to irreconcilable differences between Governor Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy.
The court’s ruling came in response to a motion on notice filed by Deputy Governor Shaibu, who sought the court’s intervention to prevent his removal from office by Governor Obaseki. Justice Mohammed has instructed all parties involved in the case to maintain the status quo until the defendants can demonstrate cause, as directed in a previous court ruling on July 27th, 2023.
As a result of this order, the Governor, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), and the State Security Service (SSS), who were not represented in court, will be served with hearing notices. The court has scheduled a hearing on the matter for August 10th.
The originating summons filed by Deputy Governor Shaibu seeks the court’s determination on several key issues. It includes whether Governor Obaseki has the authority to use the IGP and SSS to obstruct him from carrying out his constitutional duties. Additionally, the court is asked to ascertain if the Governor can instigate the Speaker and the Chief Judge to initiate impeachment proceedings against him for reasons other than misconduct, as specified in the constitution.
Deputy Governor Shaibu has also raised concerns about Governor Obaseki deliberately excluding him from State Executive Council meetings and other functions without violating the law’s express provisions.
In the event that the court rules in his favor on these matters, Deputy Governor Shaibu seeks declarations that the IGP, SSS, and Governor Obaseki lack the power to intimidate, harass, or embarrass him. Furthermore, he requests injunctions to prevent the mentioned parties and their agents from interfering with his legitimate functions.
The Deputy Governor also seeks injunctions against Governor Obaseki, the Speaker, and the Chief Judge to prevent any actions or plans related to the impeachment process and to stop the Chief Judge from taking instructions from the Governor and the Speaker in setting up an inquiry panel for the purpose of impeachment.
The case continues to draw attention, and the temporary order issued by Justice Mohammed marks a significant step in the ongoing legal battle between the Edo State Governor and his Deputy.