Court nullifies impeachment of former Kogi deputy governor

A High Court sitting in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital has declared as illegal and unconstitutional, the impeachment of the former deputy governor, Chief Simon Achuba by the state House of Assembly.

The case of Elder Simon Achuba vs the KSHA and 29 others had been on, following, the removal of the Deputy Governor of Kogi State.

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The Presiding Judge, Justice John Olorunfemi while delivering judgement on the matter in Lokoja on Thursday, described the action of the state assembly as “legislative rascality.”

He posited that since the seven-man panel set up by the state chief judge, to investigate the allegation of gross misconduct against the claimant by the state assembly, submitted that the allegation could not be proved, further action on the matter ought to have been discontinued, based on section 188 of the constitution.

He, therefore, wondered why those that ordinarily ought to make laws for the good governance of the country would be turned out to be lawbreakers, and subsequently held that the removal of the claimant by the 1st to the 25th defendants amount to flagrant abuse of the constitution.

Justice Olorunfemi further held that the swearing-in of the 29th defendants by the chief judge after his nomination and confirmation by the state assembly, was in order, as the 30th defender was simply performing his constitutional role is the chief judge of the state.

He, therefore, stressed the need for legal practitioners to always watch their utterances, that tend to portray the judiciary or the court in a bad light, being co-worshippers in the temple of justice.

On the whole, the presiding judge pointed out that the 1st to the 25th defendants have failed woefully in their legal antics to frustrate the suit, and held that their removal of the claimant was unconstitutional and invalid, and subsequently granted all the reliefs sight.

Reacting to the judgement, Mr Ojonimi Apeh, Esq, who represented JIBRIN Okutepa, SAN, described the court’s decision as a victory for democracy and the rule of law.

He commended the judge for the well-considered judgement, and the industry put into writing the judgement, adding, however, that they are prepared to meet their opponents in Appeal Court if they are not satisfied with the decision of the lower court.

Also speaking, counsel to the 1st to 25th defendants, Mr Isaac Ekpa Esq, said they would get a copy of the judgement study it with a view to advising his clients appropriately.

Equally in his reaction, counsel to the 30th defendant, Mr Yemi Mohammed Esq commended the presiding judge for the judgement, saying the decision by the chief judge to swear in the new deputy governor was purely to discharge his constitutional duties.

He opined that his client cannot be blamed for not declining to swear in the new deputy governor since there was no injunction preventing him from going ahead with such action.

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