Disclosure News

Factual Reportage

The Edo State House of Assembly, on Wednesday, accused the Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, been involved in leaking government’s secrets and committed perjury, offences which it described as impeachable

The Assembly, made the allegations when its Deputy Clerk, Joe Ohaifa, appeared on its behalf at the inaugural sitting of the seven-man panel probing Shaibu.

The panel, headed by retired Justice S.A. Omonuwa, was raised by the Edo State Chief Judge, Justice Daniel Okungbowa, at the instance of the state Assembly, which on March 5 commenced impeachment proceedings against the deputy government.

The Assembly told the panel that it received a petition accusing Shaibu of perjury and leaking the government’s secrets.

Recall that Shaibu and his principal, Governor Godwin Obaseki have been at each other’s throat since last year when the deputy declared his interest to contest the September 21 governorshiip election in the dtate, against Obasekis choice of Asue Ighodalo, who eventually won the PDP ticket for the election

The Deputy Clerk said Shaibu leaked the state’s secrets in the affidavit he filed in support of an Abuja lawsuit, adding that he rendered documents relating to the State Executive Council’s meeting.

The Assembly explained further that Shaibu violated the Oath of Secrecy he took and acted contrary to the provisions of Schedule 7 of the 1999 Constitution.

The panel, after hearing the Assembly’s case, adjourned till today (Thursday), for Shaibu to enter his defence.

Earlier at the proceedings, Shaibu’s lawyer, Prof. Oladoyin Awoyale (SAN), had excused himself from the hearing after the panel declined his application to suspend the proceedings.

Awoyale, in his submission, urged the panel to halt the impeachment proceedings pending the outcome of a suit filed by Shaibu before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Awoyale told the panel that the Abuja court had fixed April 8 for parties in the suit to appear to show cause why it should not grant Shaibu’s prayer for an interlocutory injunction to halt the impeachment proceedings.

But opposing the prayer, the Deputy Clerk said by virtue of Section 188 (10) of the 1999 Constitution, no court had the right to prevent the House of Assembly, or the seven-man panel from performing their constitutional duties.

Ohiafi said Shaibu’s lawyer must convince the panel that the provision of the constitution had been altered for the panel to sustain his argument.

In his ruling, the panel chairman, Justice Omonuwa, agreed with Ohiafi.

Justice Omonuwa said the panel would continue with the proceedings and asked the House of Assembly to state its case.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *