Kogi: Court reserves ruling on Achuba’s impeachment

Impeached Kogi deputy governor, Achuba

Richard Elesho/ Lokoja

The High Court 4 sitting in Lokoja, has reserved ruling till February 27, 2020 in the case on the removal of Elder Simon Achuba as Kogi State Deputy Governor and his subsequent replacement with Chief Edward Onoja.

The court reserved judgement after listening to counsels of the claimant and the defendants Tuesday.

Making his submission, J. S. Okutepa, SAN, asked the court to declare the removal of the former Kogi State Deputy Governor, by the Assembly as a violation of the Constitution and urged the court to declare the actions and subsequent nomination of another person to the office by the lawmakers as null and void.

Okutepa described the action of the Kogi State House of Assembly as a constitutional coup, hatched and executed in a democracy. He relied on Section 188 subsection 8, a section that stopped the Assembly from further action having discovered that the former Deputy Governor was not found wanting.

Okutepa said the onus to produce the remaining volumes of the report purported to have indicted the former Deputy Governor rest with the defendants which they failed to do, pointing out that the 29th defendants also did not file a counter notice.

In his response, Chief Adeniyi, counsel to the 1 to 4th defendants prayed the court to dismiss the suit arguing that the claimant has no power to challenge the proceedings of the House of Assembly. He said the laws establishing the seven man panel of enquiry that sat over the issues gives it powers not to be questioned by any court of law and described the court process as incompetent.

Also in their separate responses, Barr. Isaac Ekpa, counsel to the 5 to 25 defendants, Z.E.Abbas, Counsel to the 26 to the 28 defendants, urged the court to decline jurisdiction on the matter and to seek to find out what constitute an abuse of office as alleged of the claimant and to so dismiss the application for lacking in Merit.

Similarly, M.Y Abdullahi counsel to the 30th defendant, urged that the matter be thrown out as the exhibits presented are not certified.