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Court Restrains Ebonyi Assembly From Continuing With Governor Elechi’s Impeachment

FROM IGNATIUS OKPARA, Abakaliki – An Abakaliki High Court presided over by Justice John Igboji, on Wednesday granted an interlocutory injunction restraining the Ebonyi State House of Assembly from proceeding with any impeachment processes against the state governor, Chief Martin Elechi.

The order followed an ex-parte motion brought by Governor Elechi against the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Chukwuma Nwazunku, the Chief Whip, Hon Kingsley Ikoro on behalf of fourteen other members of the Assembly and five others, seeking an interim restraining order against the first to the third respondents.

Also joined in the suit includes Ebonyi House of Assembly, the State Chief Judge, Commissioner of Police, Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice of Nigeria.

In the motion filed by Chief Tagbo Ike on behalf of the plaintiff, Chief Elechi, asked the court to grant him the order pursuant to order IV Rules 3 and 4 ©(IV) and (V); Order V rule 7(B) and (D) of fundamental rights (enforcement procedure) rules, 2009 praying the court for the following orders:

(A) An interim injunction restraining the 1st to 3rd respondents against the applicant without causing the applicant to be served with notice of impeachment pending the determination of the substantive application,

(B)   An interim injunction restraining the 4th respondent from constituting the panel of seven persons to investigate the allegations of improprieties leveled against the applicant pending the determination of the substantive application.

In his ruling after hearing Chief tagbo Ike with Chioma Okoromba, counsel to the plaintiff, Justice Igboji ordered that the application is hereby granted stressing that the interim injunction restrains “the 1st to the 3rd respondents from howsoever continuing with the impeachment proceeding against the applicant without causing the applicant to be served with notice of impeachment pending the determination of the substantive application”.

The Judge thereafter adjourned the matter to Tuesday March 10, 2015.

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