The impreached Speaker of the Kogi House of Assembly, Hon. Momoh Jimoh Lawal, has been reinstated.
This is the decision of a Federal High Court, Abuja, that on Thursday, voided the impeachment of Jimoh Lawal by the House.
In a judgment delivered by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, the court equally restored the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Aliyu Akuh and seven other Principal Officers of the Kogi State House of Assembly.
The court observed that the process that led to their impeachment was faulty.
The court said their impeachment on February 16, 2016, was unconstitutional and illegal and was against the provisions of sections 90, 91, 92 (2) (c), 95 (1) & (2) and 96(1) & (2) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
Consequently, the court voided the 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.
“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)”, the court said.
The judgment, also 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”.
Jimoh Lawal and others had approached the High Court in a case marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/184/16, through their lawyer, Emeka Etiaba, SAN, argued that their removal did not follow laid down rules and regulations, and therefore of no effect.
Cited as 1st to 5th defendants in the matter were the five lawmakers that effected the impeachment, the aforementioned security agencies and the Kogi State House of Assembly.
The plaintiffs prayed the court to determine whether in view of provisions of the 1999 Constitution and Rules 3(1) & (2) of the Standing Rules of Kogi State House of Assembly dated February 15, 2016, their removal was not unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.
By this judgment the minority members that had held sway in the House since February would have to stand down.