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Court nullifies suspension of Edo lawmaker

Tony Osauzo, Benin

The three months suspension on Hon. Godwin Adenomo by Edo State House of Assembly has been declared ‘unconstitutional, illegal and of no effect whatsoever’ by an Edo State High Court.

Recall that Adenomo, who represents Ovia South West constituency in the Assembly, was suspended on May 16 for demanding payment of N220 million as his outstanding benefits and salaries.

‎The House had suspended him for the first three months in the first instance for failing to appear before its ad hoc committee to prove his claims.

Speaker of the House, Hon. Kabiru Adjoto, who announced Adenomo’s suspension at plenary, said he did not follow proper channel in line with the house’s rules to make his demands which he described as political and a deliberate attempt to malign and bring the house to disrepute.

‎The suspension forced Hon. Adenomo to seek redress at the State High Court.

Delivering judgment in the suit filed by his Counsel, Kingsley Obamogie, Justice V.O. Oviawe held that Speaker Adjoto lacked powers to suspend Adenomo for three months.

The Court held that suspending the lawmaker without any hearing was unconstitutional, invalid, null and void and set aside the purported suspension of Adenomo as member representing Ovia South – West Constituency.

It further held that Hon. Adenomo is entitled to exercise his constitutional rights and discharge his duties as the representative of his Constituency without any inhibition or constraint whatsoever from the defendants.

The Court also odered that Hon Adenomo should not be subjected to any form of marginalization whatsoever by the Speaker, their servants, agents and/or privies.

It, therefore, granted an order of perpetual injunction restraining Speaker Adjoto, their servants, agents and/or privies from interfering with the rights of Adenomo as the elected member of the Edo State House of Assembly representing Ovia South – West Constituency, without due regard to the process of law.

The Court further granted an order of injunction restraining the Defendants from further marginalizing Adenomo in breach of his right as elected member of the assembly representing Ovia South-West Constituency.

It held  that the request of Adenomo to the ad hoc committee for adjournment of its sitting to 21st May, 2018 to enable him appear, was reasonable which the ad hoc committee ought to have acceded to.

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