Court rejects plea to halt reinstatement of impeached Kogi Speaker
The Federal High Court, Abuja yesterday refused to stay the execution of its judgment reinstating the impeached Speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly, Momoh Jimoh Lawal.
The court was approached by the lawmakers who carried out the purported impeachment of the chamber’s principal officers.The five legislators, Sani Lawal, A.T. Ahmed; Bello Abdullahi and John Abah were led by Umar Imam.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, had in his ruling last month, restored the Deputy Speaker, Aliyu Akuh and seven other principal officers of the Assembly on the ground that the process leading to their purported impeachment on February 16 this year, was unconstitutional and illegal.
He judge held that their removal was not in line with provisions of Sections 90, 91, 92 (2) (c), 95 (1) & (2) and 96(1) & (2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Consequently, the court had voided the purported election of Umar Imam as Speaker of the House as well as the emergence of four others as principal officers.
Aside the speaker and his deputy, the court had also reinstated Kolawole Mathew; Osiyi Godwin; Sunday Shigaba; Ndako Idris; Oluwatoyin Lawal; Musa Jimoh and Victor Omofaye.
Justice Dimgba held that the continued sitting and conduct of the affairs of the Assembly by the first to fifth defendants after the purported removal of the first plaintiff and other principal officers of the House as well as the purported installation of themselves as principal officers of the House since February 16 were illegal.
Besides, the court restrained the Inspector General of Police, Director General of the Department of State Service, Commandant of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps, who were seventh to eighth defendants in the suit from further barricading the Assembly complex and preventing the plaintiffs from accessing the hallowed chambers of the Kogi State House of Assembly to conduct their legal and legitimate duties as legislators validly elected to represent their various constituencies.
Not satisfied with the judgment, the applicant, led by Umar Imam, filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal challenging the decision of the lower court. They also brought an application before the Federal High Court, seeking for stay of execution of the judgment pending the hearing and determination of the appeal.
However, in yesterday’s ruling, Justice Dimgba held that having delivered judgment on the case, it would amount to giving justice on one hand and taking it away with the other if he granted the reliefs sought by the applicants.