Court nullifies Kogi ex-deputy governor, Achuba’s impeachment
Says PDP had no candidate for November 16 guber poll
A High Court sitting in Lokoja, Kogi State yesterday declared the impeachment of former Deputy Governor, Simon Achuba unconstitutional, null and void. In a judgement delivered at the Kogi High Court 4, Justice John Olorunfemi declared the decision of the state House of Assembly to proceed with the impeachment last October as an act of “legislative rascality devoid of reasoning.”
He said he could not understand why the legislators whose responsibility is to make laws for the state now turned out to be law breakers, chosing to proceed with the purported impeachment even when the committee set up to investigate allegations of gross misconduct against the deputy governor have declared him not guilty.He, therefore, granted the prayers of Achuba to the effect that the impeachment of the deputy governor carried out by the state Assembly and subsequent swearing in of Chief Edward Onoja on the 18 the October 2019 is null, void and therefore is of no censequence.
He said the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Nasir Ajana, only performed his constitutional duties by going ahead with the swearing in of Onoja, saying he should not have been listed as a respondent in the matter.
Justice Olorunfemi also ordered that all the reliefs sought by the claimant be granted without further delay.Reacting to the judgement, Ojonimi Apeh, who represented Jibrin Okutepa (SAN) described the court’s decision as victory for democracy and rule of law.
Also speaking on the ruling, Yemi Mohammed, who represented Ajana, commended the judge for the judgement, which absolved his client from all blame, saying that Justice Ajana only discharged his administrative duty, as there was no court injunction baring a new deputy governor from being sworn in at the time.
Besides, the court also ruled that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has no valid candidate in the November 16 governorship election in the state.Justice Olorunfemi in a ruling yesterday declared that the primary conducted on September 3, 2019, which produced Musa Wada as PDP’s candidate, was fraught with irregularities such an hour long downpour and sporadic gunshots that led to delegates scampering for safety and as such was not fair enough to produce a candidate.
The ruling was in a pre-election matter filled by eldest son of a former governor of the state Ibrahim Idris, Abubakar challenging Wada’s candidacy as PDP’s flag bearer in the November 16, 2019 governorship election.According to him, neither the claimant Abubakar Idris, nor the defendant, Wada can lay claim to PDP’s candidacy since the primary was inconclusive.