Court reverses sack of Kogi Speaker, other principal officers

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday ordered the reinstatement of the impeached Speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly, Momoh Lawal and other principal officers.

In his ruling, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba stated that process for the removal of the principal officers failed to conform with Sections 92(2) (c) and 96 of the 1999 Constitution.

He therefore ordered that five lawmakers, Umar Imam, Friday Sani, Lawal Ahmed, Bello Abdullahi and John Abah, who supposedly replaced the impeached officers, stand down.

Dimgba ruled that the reason given by the five lawmakers who effected the removal of the principal officers, which is that they resigned voluntarily, “is a fatally flawed premise” because they did not place any evidence of the resignation before the court.

He added that even if the elected officials were impeached on the basis of voluntary resignation, “it is impossible for the meeting of the House to be quorate on 16/2/16 as to produce any legitimate decision, much less one that alters the leadership of the House”.

“By simple arithmetic, for a legislature that is down to 20 members from 25 at 16/2/16, two-thirds of that means not less than 14 (or 13) members of the House supporting the impeachment,” Mr. Dimgba said.

The speaker, alongside his deputy, Aliyu Akuh, and seven other members of the assembly, along with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) filed the originating summons through their counsel, Emeka Etiaba.

They contended that the purported impeachment of the speaker on the 16th of February, 2016 breached sections 90, 91, 92(2) (c), 95 (1) and (2) and 96(1) (2) of the Constitution and was, therfore, unconstitutional, illegal, null, and void.

It would be recalled that officers of the Kogi State Police Command besieged and sealed the State House of Assembly complex on the order of the National Assembly following the lingering leadership tussle that bedeviled the house

Source: PremiumTimes


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