Justice Ahmed Mohammed from the Federal High Court in Abuja has issued a temporary order to halt Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki’s attempt to impeach his Deputy, Phillip Shaibu, due to their irreconcilable differences.
The order was granted in response to a motion on notice filed by Shaibu, seeking the court’s intervention to prevent his removal from office by the Governor. As part of the ruling, Justice Mohammed instructed all parties involved to maintain the status quo until further notice, as indicated in the court’s previous ruling on July 27th, 2023.
The court hearing on this matter has been adjourned until August 10, and the court has also directed that the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the State Security Service (SSS), and Governor Obaseki, who were not present in court, be served with hearing notices.
In his originating summons, Shaibu requested the court to determine if Governor Obaseki has the authority, according to Sections 186 and 193 of the 1999 Constitution, to instigate the IGP and SSS to harass and prevent him from performing his constitutionally mandated duties. He also questioned whether the Governor has the power to instigate the Speaker and Chief Judge to initiate impeachment proceedings against him for reasons other than allegations of misconduct, as specified in Section 188 of the 1999 Constitution.
Furthermore, Shaibu asked the Court to decide whether Obaseki can deliberately exclude him from State Executive Council (SEC) meetings or any other functions within and outside Edo State without violating the provisions of Section 193 of the 1999 Constitution.
If the court resolves these issues in his favor, Shaibu seeks declarations that the IGP, SSS, and Obaseki lack the authority to intimidate, harass, embarrass, or harm him. He also requests an order that Obaseki, the Speaker, and the Chief Judge do not possess the power to impeach him for any reason other than gross misconduct. Additionally, he questions the power of the Speaker and the Chief Judge to form a 7-man panel of inquiry for impeachment.
Among other reliefs, Shaibu asks for an injunction restraining the IGP, SSS, and Obaseki, along with their agents and associates, from harassing, embarrassing, intimidating, or preventing him from fulfilling his lawful duties. He further seeks an injunction to prevent Obaseki, the Speaker, and the Chief Judge from taking any action related to the impeachment plan, as well as a specific order to stop the Chief Judge from taking instructions from Obaseki and the Speaker regarding the formation of any panel of inquiry for the purpose of his impeachment.