Kogi Assembly Crisis: Court Stops Warring Factions From Conducting Legislative Duties

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…restores impeached Speaker, other principal officers
The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Thursday, restrained the warring factions in the Kogi State House of Assembly from conducting legislative duties, pending determination of an application challenging the judgment that voided the impeachment of the Speaker and other principal officers.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba made the order following complaint by counsel to the reinstated lawmakers, Mr. Emeka Etiaba, SAN, who told the court that his clients have not been allowed access into the House, despite the judgment that was delivered in their favour on May 19.
The court had in its judgment, restored the impeached Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Hon. Momoh Jimoh Lawal to the position.

It equally reinstated the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Aliyu Akuh and seven other Principal Officers of the Kogi State House of Assembly, saying the process that led to their purported impeachment on February 16, 2016, was unconstitutional and illegal.
Justice Dimgba held that their removal by five lawmakers 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.
The court voided the purported election of Hon. Umar Imam as the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, as well as the emergency of four others- Friday Sani; Lawal A.T. Ahmed; Bello Abdullahi and John Abah as principal officers of the House.
Aside the Speaker and his Deputy, others the court also reinstated were Hon. Kolawole Mathew, Osiyi Godwin, Sunday Shigaba, Ndako Idris, Oluwatoyin Lawal, Musa Jimoh and Victor Omofaye.
Specifically, the court held that “The continued sitting and conduct of the affairs of the Kogi State House of Assembly by the 1st – 5th defendants after the purported removal of the 1st plaintiff and other principal officers of the House and purported installation of themselves as principal officers of the Kogi State House of Assembly on the 16th day of February, 2016, is illegal having regard to section 96(1) of the Constitution and Rule 5(1)”.
Besides, the court restrained the Inspector General of Police, Director General of the State Security Service, Commandant of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps, who were 7th to 8th defendants in the suit, “from further barricading the complex of the House of Assembly and preventing the plaintiffs from accessing the hallowed chambers if the Kogi State House of Assembly to conduct their legal and legitimate duties as legislators validly elected to represent their various constituencies”.
However, the five lawmakers that were sacked by the court have gone to the appeal court, even as they applied for stay of execution of the high court judgment.

Credit: Vanguard

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