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Impeachment: Agbaso fights on, says panel has premeditated mission –Agbaso


Deputy Governor of Imo State, Jude Agbaso, has accused the state’s House of Assembly panel that indicted him of having a pre-determined mission to remove him from office.

In the suit he instituted, which is seeking the Imo State High Court to restrain the Imo State House of Assembly from going ahead with his planned impeachment or doing anything pending the hearing and determination of the matter.

This is as the State House of Assembly had written the state Chief Judge, Justice A. B. Njemanze, to constitute a panel to try him.

Agbaso, through his counsel, Patrick Ikwueto (SAN), had warned against the going ahead with the planned impeachment process despite the pendency of their suit challenging the process.

In a fundamental human rights enforcement suit filed last Thursday, Agbaso is asking the court to hold that the constitution of the panel did not follow due process, saying that the out come of the panel proceedings will present a fait accompli on the court and render its decision nugatory.

The deputy governor is further asking the court to stop the Imo CJ from acting on a request from the Speaker of the state House Assembly, Benjamin Anyanwu, to appoint a seven-man panel to further proceed against his removal over unfounded allegation, conclusion or recommendation of the panel pending the determination of the suit.

Agbaso also named the six-man panel (Simeon Iwunze, Ikenna Emeh, Greg Okemili, Innocent Ekeh, Kingsley Dimaku and Samuel Anyanwu), Speaker (Uwajumogu), state Assembly, Imo CJ, and Commissioner of Police, Imo State Command, as co-defendants to the suit.

The deputy governor also wants the court to take judicial notice of the fact that the Imo CJ is aware of the pending suit, having been filed before him, while he assigned the suit to Justice F. I. Duruoha Igwe and directed that the suit should be heard on Monday, March 18.

Ikwueto urges the court to note that in spite of the pendency of the suit, the Imo CJ went ahead to constitute the seven-man impeachment panel.

Ikweoto also cited the landmark decision of the Court of Appeal in the case of Chief Adefarati v. Ondo State governor on the sanctity of not taking any further step over pending suit in order not to overreach the court to buttress his point.

The applicant is further asking the court to grant an order of interim injunction, restraining the commissioner of police and his agents from harassing and intimidating him or invading his residence or office pending the exhaustion of all legal options available to him under the 1999 Constitution (as amended) against the defendants.

Agbaso is also seeking an order for substituted service of the court processes on the defendants through their agents or through advertisement in two newspapers.

Meanwhile, Agbaso has also filed another suit before a Federal High Court in Owerri against the defendants, challenging the propriety of the impeachment proceedings against him.

He is asking to hold that he is entitled to fair hearing as enshrined in section 36 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), saying that there is the need for the court to grant a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants and their agents from proceeding with the impeachment process.

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