Court Quashes Impeachment of Madumere as Imo Deputy Gov

An Imo State High Court presided over by Justice Benjamin Iheka, Tuesday, quashed the purported impeachment of the Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere, by members of the State House of Assembly. Delivering the four-Okorochashour judgment in suit marked HOW/565/2018, instituted by Madumere to challenge his removal from office, Justice Iheka held: “The appointment of the seven-man panel to investigate the allegations of gross misconduct made by the 9th and 10th defendants (Speaker, Imo State House of Assembly and Imo State House of Assembly), against the plaintiff is invalid, unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect.”
The Court equally restrained the panelists from, in whatsoever manner, investigating or continuing to investigate the allegations made by the 9th and 10th defendants against the plaintiff or sitting or continuing to sit, or to inquire or continue to inquire, or deliberate or continue to deliberate on the allegations against the plaintiff, or make findings or continue to make findings against the plaintiff.
The court further upheld the submission of the plaintiff’s counsel, Prince Ken Njemanze (SAN), that it was unconditional for the Chief Judge to have constituted the panel during the pendency of the suit in respect of the validity of the 10th defendant’s motion and the 9th defendant to constitute the said panel.
“I hold that the appointment of the 2nd to 8th defendants, by the Chief Judge, as members of the panel to investigate the allegations of gross misconduct made against the plaintiff by the 9th and 10th defendants, is unconditional and invalid, within the meaning of Section 188(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended”, Iheka said.
Madumere was on July 30 impeached by 19 of the 27 members of the Imo House of Assembly.
The Assembly had earlier received a report by a seven-member panel set up by the state chief judge which allegedly indicted Mr Madumere of gross misconduct.
The sack occurred at about the same time a court in the state barred the lawmakers from removing Mr Madumere from office.
A High Court Judge in Owerri, Benjamin Iheka, gave an interim order restraining the seven-member panel constituted by the chief judge of the state from submitting its report, thus halting the removal proceedings.
madumere’s ordeal with Governor Rochas Okorocha started over his intention to contest governorship election in 2019.
While Madumere seeks to succeed Okorocha, the Governor supports his son-in-law to succeed him.
The crisis worsened during the APC local and state congresses in the state with Okorocha and his deputy supporting separate factions.
Although the APC faction supported by Madumere, Senator Hope Uzodinma, and Osita Izunaso, was initially recognised by the national leadership of the party, its election was upturned by the court.

Author: News Editor

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