“Removal of Enugu Deputy Governor followed constitutional provisions” – CLO

By IAfrica
In Nigeria
Aug 28th, 2014
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Sunday-OnyebuchiThe Civil Liberties Organization, CLO, South-East zone, says former Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi may not return to his position through the courts.

DailyPost recalls that Onyebuchi had in interview faulted his removal and vowed to seek justice in the court.

But the CLO in a Statement signed by its coordinator in the South-East said that “It becomes imperative for us to comment on this matter due to demands asking for our response because of our various press statements before this time demanding that constitutional provisions be strictly adhered to at the commencement of the matter.

“The Supreme Court in the case of INAKOJU V. ADELEKE (2007)2 M.J.S.C.1 ratio 22, stated thus “Provided the legislature in the exercise of legislative power does not breach any constitutional provision or a statute, a Court cannot adjudicate in any matter arising from the legislature because such disputes are not justifiable and are political” The Court went further in ratio 20, Per Niki Tobi, JSC and stated thus: “In my humble view, Section 188(1)-(6) sets on the procedure to be adopted in the removal process. The proceedings will commence from Section 188(7) when the panel of 7 members call the first witness and continues until the conclusion of the report of the House. The Section 188(10) ouster clause is clearly on proceedings or determination of the Panel or the House. It does not relate to or affect the procedure spelt out in Section 188(1)-(6)

“Our position since the commencement of the impeachment process based on our previous press statements called on the two key actors in the process namely the Chief Judge and the State Assembly to ensure compliance with the constitutional provisions regarding the procedure for impeachment of governor/deputy governor as enunciated above by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court went further in INAKOJU V. ADELEKE (SUPRA) and held thus ‘In the removal of governor or Deputy Governor the procedure clearly specified in Section 188 of the Constitution must be strictly followed and strictly complied with before such removal becomes constitutional and valid. Any breach of any of the said provisions renders such removal ineffective, null, void and of no effect’”.

It added that, “The most distinguishable difference between Enugu’s case from the previous cases on impeachment of governors which came before the Supreme Court was that in Dariyes case; DAPIANLONG V. DARIYE (2007) 8 M.J.S.C 140 and Ladoja’s case; INAKOJU V. ADELEKE (SUPRA), both the Plateau State house of Assembly and the Oyo State House of Assembly respectively embarked on legislative rascality and removed the respective governors without the required 2/3 majority of House members needed to successfully commence and carried out the impeachment.

“In the present Enugu’s impeachment case after critically following up all the procedures adopted we saw that the procedure was flawless right from the commencement of the Impeachment Notice which was supported by 2/3 majority of the House members, to the setting up of the 7man panel by the Honorable Chief Judge of the State who to our honest view successfully discharged the constitutional duty imposed on him by Section 188(5) of the 1999 Nigeria Constitution.

“In view of the Supreme Court decision which is the extant law on this matter that you can challenge the

procedure if it was not done in accordance with the laid down procedure stipulated in Section 188(1)-(6) of the Constitution, but you can not challenge the proceedings or determination of the Panel and the House as Section 188(10) of the Constitution clearly oust the jurisdiction of the Court.

“The supremacy of the decision of the Panel was illustrated in Governor Al Makuras’ Case. Since this is the position of the law, we support the Rule of law, and wish the People and government of Enugu State best of luck”.

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