Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja has temporarily stopped Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state from impeaching his Deputy, Phillip Shuaib over what he described as irreconcilable differences.
Justice Mohammed gave the temporary order in a ruling on a motion on notice filed by Shuaib praying the court to stop plans by Obaseki to remove him from office.
In the motion which was argued by Mr Moses Ebute, SAN, Justice Mohammed ordered the parties in the suit to maintain “status quo ante bellum”.
By the order, parties are to remain in the positions they were before Shuaib’s suit was instituted against Obaseki.
The order for status quo to be maintained was released on Friday in Abuja and it is to be in force untill the defendants show cause as directed in another ruling of the court made on July 27.
Listed as defendants in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/ CS/1027/2023 are the Inspector- General of Police (IGP), Department of State Services (DSS) and Obaseki
Others are the Speaker, Edo House of Assembly and the Chief Judge of, Edo as 1st to 5th defendants.
Justice Mohammed adjourned the matter until Aug. 10 and ordered that the IG, DSS and Obaseki who were not represented in court be served with hearing notices.
The News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) reports that Shaibu, in his originating simmons had prayed the court to determine whether in view of the provisions of Sections 186 and 193 of the 1999 Constitution, Obaseki had power to intimidate and prevent him from accessing his office.
He also asked the court to ascertain whether the governor had powers to instigate the speaker and the chief judge to commence impeachment proceedings against him.
This he said was with a view to remove him from office on any other ground other than allegations of misconduct as contained in Section 188 of the 1999 Constitution.
The deputy governor further asked the court to decide whether in view of the provisions of Section 193 of the 1999 Constitution, Obaseki could deliberately refuse to carry him along or inform him of the State Executive Council (SEC) Meeting.
” Or any other meetings or functions within and outside Edo without violating the express provision of the law.”
Shuaib said if the issues were resolved in his favour, the court should declare that the IG, DSS and Obaseki lacked power to intimidate, harass, embarrass or molest him.
He prayed the court for an order of injunction restraining the IG, DSS, Obaseki and their agents and privies from harassing, embarrassing, intimidating and preventing him from carrying out his legitimate functions.
During the Friday’s proceedings, the speaker was represented by Okotie Eboh while the chief judge was represented by Francis Ogbe.
They both opposed the granting of Shuaib’s request.