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Edo impeachment saga: Why panel members must not probe Shaibu – CRPP

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Edo impeachment saga: Why panel members must not probe Shaibu – CRPP

Edo Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu

Published By: Paul Dada

By Jethro Ibileke

The Conference of Registered Political Parties (CRPP) in Edo, has explained why members of the seven-man panel constituted by the State Chief Judge, Justice Daniel Okungbowa, must reject the assignment to investigate allegations levelled against the deputy governor, Philip Shaibu.

CRPP said this in a statement signed by  Dr. Samson Isibor and Hon. John Isidhaome, Chairman and Secretary respectively.

The Chief Registrar of the State High Court, B. O. Osawaru,  had in a statement announced that  Justice Okungbowa hassigned retired Justice S. A. Omonua to head the probe panel.

Other members are Prof. Violet Aigbokhaevo, Prof. Theresa Akpoghome, Mr. Oghogho Ayodele Oviasu and Prof. Boniface Omomion, Dr. Andrew Oliha and Mr. Idris Abdulkareem.

But the CRPP said that the probe panel members must decline their membership on moral grounds.

Besides, it urged the Edo CJ to emulate two Chief Judges in Ondo State, who at two different times rejected requests by the State House of Assembly to set up similar panels to impeach former Deputy Governors of the state.

The statement said: “The announcement by the Chief Judge of Edo State setting up the so-called impeachment panel to probe Hon. Phillip Shuaibu did not come to us as a surprise…

“Our arguments are very fundamental to the nascent democracy. We are operating with the three arms of government, the executive, the legislative and the judiciary.

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“Each arm is independent of the other. Edo State House of Assembly, led by Blessing Agbebaku, rebuffed the judiciary by turning down a court summon sent by a Federal High Court delivered by a High Court bailiff.

“In fact the court bailiff was harassed and chased away by the House of Assembly security men on the order of the House of Assembly leadership.

“These actions of the Assembly lawmakers, now lawbreakers, are supposed to be viewed seriously as a slight on the Judiciary. It took the intervention of the judiciary for the court bailiff to paste the summon at the entrance of the Assembly.

“However, the same judiciary quickly assented to the request of the state assembly that the Chief Judge should constitute a panel to probe Phillip Shaibu.

“The Chief Judge’s actions leave much to be desired; he has been quiet about the rascality of the assembly leadership.

“We are therefore appealing to the moral instinct of the panel members to turn down their appointments individually or collectively on moral ground, justice and fair play, more so the deputy governor has served Governor Godwin Obaseki, the House of Assembly, the originating summons by a court of competent jurisdiction, which we believe should not be flouted.

“A case in point is that of Ondo State where the Chief Judges on two different occasions stood their ground and refused to do the biddings of the power that be and that of the State Assembly. Peace thereafter returned to Ondo State automatically. The Chief Judge of Edo State should emulate those two Chief Judges of Ondo State.

“For the umpteenth time, we advise the outgoing governor to heed the appeal of well-meaning Nigerians to discontinue his desirous decision to impeach his deputy, more so that he has few months to leave the office as a governor. Power is transient is not permanent. He should remember tomorrow.”

 

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