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Court reinstates 'impeached' assembly Speaker, Deputy

The judgement said their removal was not in line with provisions of sections 90, 91, 92 (2) (c), 95 (1) & (2) and 96(1) & (2) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

 

The presiding judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, who also restated the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Aliyu Akuh and seven other Principal Officers of the Kogi State House of Assembly, said the process that led to their supposed impeachment was unconstitutional and illegal.

The lawmakers were 'impeached'on February 16, 2016, by 17 out of 25 members of the Assembly who accused them of incompetence, betrayal of trust and failure to represent them effectively.

The judgement said their removal was not in line with provisions of sections 90, 91, 92 (2) (c), 95 (1) & (2) and 96(1) & (2) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

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Therefore, the court nullified the purported election of Hon. Umar Imam as the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, and four other principal officers appointed along with him - Friday Sani; Lawal A.T. Ahmed; Bello Abdullahi and John Abah.

Apart from the Speaker and his Deputy, others the court also reinstated were Hon. Kolawole Mathew, Osiyi Godwin, Sunday Shigaba, Ndako Idris, Oluwatoyin Lawal, Musa Jimoh and Victor Omofaye.

“The continued sitting and conduct of the affairs of the Kogi State House of Assembly by the 1st – 5th defendants after the purported removal of the 1st plaintiff and other principal officers of the House and purported installation of themselves as principal officers of the Kogi State House of Assembly on the 16th day of February, 2016, is illegal having regard to section 96(1) of the Constitution and Rule 5(1),” the court held.

The court also restrained the Inspector General of Police, Director General of the State Security Service, Commandant of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps, who were 7th to 8th defendants in the suit, “from further barricading the complex of the House of Assembly and preventing the plaintiffs from accessing the hallowed chambers if the Kogi State House of Assembly to conduct their legal and legitimate duties as legislators validly elected to represent their various constituencies”.

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However, the court declined to declare that the security agencies, by their actions, aided and abetted the five lawmakers to carry out the purported impeachment as well as subsequent withdrawal of the Speaker’s vehicles (official and personal) and withdrawal of security operatives attached to the embattled Speaker.

It also refused to award general damages in the sum of N500 million.

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