From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
A high court sitting in Lokoja ,Kogi State capital on Thursday declared the impeachment of former deputy governor, Simon Achuba unconstitutional,null and void.
Justice John Olorunfemi in a judgement delivered at a Kogi high court 4 declared the decision of the state house of Assembly to proceed with the impeachment last October as an act of “legislative rascality devoid of reasoning”
Justice Olorunfemi said that he could not understand why the legislators whose responsibility is to make laws for the state now turned out to be law breakers choosing to proceed with the purported impeachment even when the seven man committee set out by the chief judge of the state to investigate allegations of gross misconduct against the deputy governor have declared him not guilty.
He therefore granted all the prayers of the defendant to the effect that the impeachment of the deputy governor carried out by the state Assembly and subsequent swearing in of Chief Edward Onoja on the 18 the October 2019 is null ,void and therefore is of no consequence.
He said that the chief judge of the state Justice Nasir Ajana should not have gone ahead with the swearing in of Onoja as no further action should have taken place after the “no guilty verdict” of the seven man committee set up to investigate the deputy governor.
Justice Olorunfemi also ordered that all the relieves sought by the claimant be granted without further delay.
Reacting to the judgement, Barrister Ojonimi Apeh who represented Jibrin Okutepa SAN described the courts decision as a victory for democracy and rule of law.
He commended the judge for the well researched and the industry put into writing the judgement adding however that they are prepared to meet their opponents at the appeal court should they not be satisfied with decision of the court.
Also speaking on the Court’s decision, Barrister Yemi Mohammed who represented the Chief judge of Kogi State,Nasir Ajana commended the judge for the well researched judgement but absorbed his client from all blame said that Justice Ajana only discharged his administrative duty as there was no court injunction to a new deputy governor should not be sworn in at that time.