An Enugu High Court on Friday nullified the impeachment of a former Deputy Governor of the Enugu State, Sunday Onyebuchi, by the State House of Assembly.
Mr. Onyebuchi, a deputy to former Gov. Sullivan Chime, was impeached on Aug. 26, 2014, and replaced by Rev. Ifeanyi Nwoye.
According to the then State Assembly led by the Speaker, Eugene Odoh, the former Deputy Governor was impeached based on allegation of gross misconduct arising from operating a poultry in his official residence and alleged refusal to represent his former boss at two official functions within and outside Enugu.
But in a judgment of the court delivered on Friday by Justice R. Odugu, the impeachment of Mr. Onyebuchi was declared “null and void”.
The judge ordered the reinstatement of the former governor’s rights and benefits from the time of his removal from office to the period his tenure elapsed.
He declared as unconstitutional, null and void the nomination of Mr. Nwoye as replacement of the plaintiff.
He held that the plaintiff’s impeachment did not comply with the provision of Section 188 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
He faulted the secret trial of the plaintiff and awarded a cost of N25, 000 against each of the 25 defendants to the suit, amounting to N600, 000.
“Operating poultry does not in any way constitute gross misconduct in the performance of the functions of the plaintiff’s office as envisaged by the constitution.
“The alleged refusal of the deputy governor to attend two public functions assigned to him by the governor also cannot amount to gross misconduct.
“Only a grave violation or breach of the constitution can be regarded as a gross misconduct.
“Section 188 (11) of the 1999 Constitution as amended is not a weapon for the House of Assembly to police the duty of the deputy governor or to hound him out of office.
“Besides, the plaintiff has told the court that the only constitutional duty assigned to him by the governor was the chairmanship of the boundary adjustment commission.’’
The judge held that the state assembly violated its constitutional duties by the impeachment of the deputy governor as there was no basis for it.
He also berated two defendants in the suit – the House of assembly and Mr. Nwoye — for their failure to appear in court or send legal representation to defend their actions.
He said the copy of the purported resolution of the impeachment panel was not presented before the court.
In a reaction shortly after the judgment was delivered, Mr. Onyebuchi, who was in court with his wife, said that he had been vindicated.
He also said he had forgiven all those who offended him.
“Some of them have come to confess and plead for forgiveness, saying that they were used and I have forgiven them and even those who haven’t come to me”, Onyebuchi said. “The God I serve is God of forgiveness and therefore I hold nothing against them”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports there was no representation from the defendants in court to get their reactions.
Nigeria’s Communications Minister, Isa Pantami, Loses 13-year-old Daughter
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, has announced the loss of his 13-year-old daughter, Aishah Isa Ali.
The Minister took to his Twitter account on Monday night to announce this sad news.
Pantami stated that the funeral prayer for the deceased will be conducted in Abuja on Tuesday at Annur Masjeed, Wuse 2.
The post by the minister announcing the incident reads; “Inna lil Laahi wa inna ilaiHi Rajiun! My 13-year old daughter, Aishah Isa Ali (Amal) passed away just a moment ago.
“Due to some necessities, funeral prayer tomorrow at Annur Masjeed, Wuse 2, immediately after Zuhr prayer In sha Allah. May Allah forgive and be merciful to her.”
Inna lil Laahi wa inna ilaiHi Rajiun!
My 13-year old daughter, Aishah Isa Ali (Amal) passed away just a moment ago.
Due to some necessities, funeral prayer tomorrow at Annur Masjeed, Wuse 2, immediately after Zuhr prayer in sha Allah. May Allah forgive & be Merciful to her.
— Isa Ali Pantami, PhD (@DrIsaPantami) November 23, 2020
Cult Violence: Wike Imposes Two-Week Curfew Around Okoro-Nu-Odu
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has imposed a 24-hour total curfew for two weeks on some parts of Port-Harcourt, the state capital.
The Governor made this known during a broadcast on Sunday where he noted that the curfew begins from Monday 23rd November 2020.
The statement noted that the upsurge noticed by the state government in cases of cult activities, other forms of violence, and killings is responsible for the curfew.
Wike in the statement declared that the entire area along and around the Okoro-nodu flyover up to a one-kilometre radius from Saint Emmanuel Anglican Church, Rumuokoro, extending to the Rumuodomaya Slaughter and Local Government daily market will be affected.
He added that no form of trading, human or vehicular movement is allowed in the affected areas until further notice.
Zamfara Governor Secures Release Of 11 Kidnapped Victims
Governor of Zamafara, Bello Matawalle has announced the release of 11 kidnapped victims.
According to reports, ten of the victims were male and a female from Bukkuyum Local Government Area.
Matawalle received the rescued kidnapped victims on Saturday night at the Government House in Gusau, the state capital.
The Commissioner of Security and Home Affairs, Abubakar Muhammed Dauran revealed that the victims were released without paying a ransom.
He stated they were released as a result of the peace initiative and stakeholders meeting summoned by Governor Matawalle with all critical stakeholders from Bukkuyum Local Government Area on Thursday.
Governor Matawalle assured that his administration will not rest on its oars until total peace is achieved in all parts of the state.
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