June 23, 2024

Impeachment: Shaibu’s lawyer withdraws, panel continues investigation

Impeachment: Shaibu’s lawyer withdraws, panel continues investigation

The retired Justice S.A. Omonuwa’s seven-man panel set up by the Chief Judge of Edo State, Justice Daniel Okungbowa, to investigate allegations of gross misconduct levelled against the deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, on Wednesday ruled that the panel will continue its investigation as there was no court order stopping it.

The ruling came after Shaibu’s counsel, Prof Oladoyin Awoyale (SAN), objected to the continuation of the investigation given the order of an Abuja Federal High Court which adjourned the case filed before it by Shaibu till April 8, 2024, 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 (retd.), 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.

In his ruling, the chairman of the panel,  Justice Omonuwa (retd.), 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 and that they should appear before it to show cause.

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


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