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Court Reinstates Sacked Kogi Speaker, Others

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[caption id="attachment_8484" align="alignnone" width="640"]Momoh Lawal, Speaker Kogi State House of Assembly, [/caption]

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday reversed the impeachment of Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Momoh Lawal.

The court also reinstated other principal officers of the House.

In his ruling, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba said that the process for the removal of the principal officers failed to conform with Sections 92(2) (c) and 96 of the 1999 Constitution.

Dimgba, therefore ruled that the five lawmakers; Umar Imam, Friday Sani, Lawal Ahmed, Bello Abdullahi and John Abah, who supposedly replaced the impeached officers are to step down.

Mr. Dimgba ruled that the reason given by the five lawmakers who effected the removal of the principal officers, which is that they resigned voluntarily, “is a fatally flawed premise”.

According to him, they did not place any evidence of the resignation before the court.

Mr. Dimgba 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,” Mr. Dimgba said.

The court further 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 of the Kogi State House of Assembly to conduct their legal and legitimate duties as legislators validly elected to represent their various constituencies”.