From Godwin Tsa, Abuja

The Abuja division of the Federal High Court, yesterday, declined a request to stop the impeachment move against the Edo State Deputy Governor, Phillip Shaibu, by the House of Assembly.

James Omotosho, in his ruling, rather granted the request by the deputy governor to serve the court processes on the Edo State governor and the House of Assembly by substituted means.

The Edo State House of Assembly had, on March 5, 2024, commenced impeachment proceedings against Shaibu over allegations of leaking of government’s secrets.

However, Shaibu filed an ex-parte motion marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/321/2024, seeking an order of the court restricting the House of Assembly, the speaker and the clerk from commencing any process by holding proceedings or setting up any panel of investigation for his removal, pending the hearing of a motion on notice.

In his March 13 ruling on the ex-parte motion, Omotosho refused to grant the application.

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When the matter came up, yesterday, Shaibu, through his counsel, Olawoyin Awoyale,  requested an order of status quo to be maintained by parties pending the hearing and determination of his motion on notice.

But Omotosho declined the request on the grounds that: “The governor of Edo State and the Edo State House of Assembly that are the principal actors in the matter have not been served with the originating summons of the suit as required by law.”

The judge granted the application by the deputy governor seeking to serve the process on the Edo State governor and the House of Assembly by substituted means.

Omotosho ordered that the court process be pasted at the entrance of the Edo State Government House and the gate of the House of Assembly complex in Benin. In addition, the judge also directed that all court papers be served on parties in the matter with the use of a registered courier company.

He subsequently adjourned the matter till April 15 for hearing.