Court Refuses To Stop Imo Deputy Governor’s Impeachment

Channels Television  
Updated March 28, 2013

A state High Court sitting in Owerri, the Imo State Capital, has struck out a motion brought before it by the embattled Imo State Deputy Governor, Jude Agbaso, to stop his impeachment by the Imo State House of Assembly.

Delivering the Judgement, Presiding Judge, Justice Florence Duruohaigwe said the court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the case after the Deputy Governor  had been given a fair hearing by the Imo State House of Assembly earlier on.

She also said that it would be unnecessary to grant the motion, since the applicant was not challenging the impeachment by the House of Assembly.

Mr Agbaso had earlier approached the court praying it to restrain the state house of assembly from proceeding with the impeachment process which began three weeks ago.

He also prayed the court to restrain the Nigerian Police Force from harassing him or acting upon the recommendations of the House of Assembly against him.

The Counsel to the applicant, Patrick Ikweto, told the court that the respondent infringed on the fundamental human rights of the Deputy Governor by investigating and indicting him in its report.

He further argued that the House of Assembly ought not to have dabbled into the investigation of the alleged N458 million contract scam, because that was a role of the security agencies.

He said that his client was not challenging the power of the State Assembly on impeachment, but that the process of Impeachment so far was faulty.

In response to the ruling, Counsel to the respondent, Akintola Adeniyi, argued that the court had no jurisdiction to entertain the matter in the first place.

He said the matter was primarily a case of impeachment, which the House of Assembly is constitutionally empowered to handle.

Meanwhile, the embattled Deputy Governor is expected to appear today before the 7-man Panel of Enquiry set-up by the Chief Judge of Imo State to investigate the allegations of gross misconduct and abuse of office by the State House of Assembly.