A Federal High Court in Abuja has reinstated the supposedly impeached Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Momoh Jimoh Lawal, and other principal officers of the House.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba in his judgement today held that the process for the removal of the principal officers was not in accordance with Sections 92(2) (c) and 96 of the 1999 Constitution.
By the pronouncement, the five Kogi lawmakers: Umar Imam; Friday Sani; Lawal A.T. Ahmed; Bello Abdullahi and John Abah, who were joined as defendants, cease to be principal officers of the assembly.
The judge further ruled that the premise adduced by the five lawmakers who effected the removal of the principal officers, which is that they resigned voluntarily, “is a fatally flawed premise” because they did not place any evidence of the resignation before the court.
He said even if the elected officials were impeached on the basis of voluntary resignation, “it is impossible for the meeting of the House to be quorate on 16/2/16 as to produce any legitimate decision, much less one that alters the leadership of the House.”
“By simple arithmetic, for a legislature that is down to 20 members from 25 at 16/2/16, two-thirds of that means not less than 14 (or 13) members of the House supporting the impeachment,” he said.
The speaker alongside his deputy, Aliyu Akuh and seven other members of the assembly, along with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) filed the originating summons through their counsel Emeka Etiaba (SAN).
They contended that the purported impeachment of the speaker on the 16th of February, 2016 breached sections 90, 91, 92(2) (c), 95 (1) and (2) and 96(1) (2) of the Constitution and was, therfore, unconstitutional, illegal, null, and void.
The judge, however, refused to make orders against the Inspector General of Police (IGP); Director-General, Department of State Services (DSS) and the Commandant of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) over their role during the purported impeachment.