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Impeachment: Imo Deputy Governor Drags Chief Judge, Speaker to Court




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From Ignatius Okpara

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The embattled Deputy Governor of Imo state, South- East Prince Eze Madumere, Nigeria, has dragged the State Chief Judge, Justice Paschal Nnadi, Speaker, Imo State House of Assembly, Mr. Acho Ihim and the State House of Assembly to court over the impeachment process against him.

Madumere is praying the court to quash the impeachment process.

The Imo number two man has been at loggerhead with his principal, Governor Rochas Okorocha, over his 2019 gubernatorial ambition which has pitched them against each other.

Madumere had in the suit, filed before a Federal High court sitting in Owerri, with the reference number:  HOW/531/2018, sought a declaration that the Speaker and the House of Assembly, having not personally served the purported notice of gross misconduct dated July 10, 2018, or a notice of any allegation made by the legislature on him, “cannot be said to have commenced or initiated the process of the removal of the plaintiff from office as Deputy Governor of Imo State, in accordance with the provisions of Section 188(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended”.

The eight-point relief, sought by the Deputy Governor, is urging the court to make “An order restraining the first defendant (the Chief Judge) from appointing a panel of seven persons to investigate the allegation(s) against the plaintiff, upon the purported request of the second defendant (Speaker), acting on the unconstitutional resolution or motion of the third defendant (House of Assembly) made on July 11, 2018.”

He is also asking the court to decide “whether the purported undated report of the assembly’s six-man ad hoc committee, which held that a prima facie case has been made out against the plaintiff is a nullity, having been made without locus standi and in breach of the plaintiff’s right to fair hearing.”

Madumere equally prayed the court to decide whether the Chief Judge can validly appoint a seven-man panel to investigate the assembly’s “notice of gross misconduct,” dated July 10, 2018, when the speaker’s request to that effect “is unconstitutional, null and void, having not complied with the provisions of Section 188(1), (2), (3) and (4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended.”

Supporters of Madumere, had on Tuesday staged a protest in parts of Owerri, the Imo state capital, over the planned impeachment.

 


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