Justice Ben Iheka of the Imo State High Court on Monday restrained the panel set up by the Chief Judge of the state, Paschal Nnadi, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Acho Ihim, and the State House of Assembly from taking any further action in the impeachment process of the state Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere, until the hearing and determination of the suit.
This is as the House, Monday, impeached the Madumere.
The panel was set up by the chief judge to investigate the allegations of gross misconduct leveled against the deputy governor by the state House of Assembly.
Justice Iheka also directed the three members of the impeachment panel that were yet to be served the motion for interlocutory injunction to respect the suit, which is before the court.
Counsel to the Deputy Governor, Ken Njemanze (SAN), told the court that his client was ready and prepared to allow his impeachment process to be determined by the court.
He said that his client was relying on the court to dispense justice in the matter which bordered on the person and office of the state’s Number Two citizen.
Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Militus Nlemadim (SAN), said he was opposing the plaintiff’s request for the court to grant an interim order as sought by his colleague.
Nlemadim said that instead of an interim order, there should be an accelerated hearing, stressing that the duty of the panel had already been spelled out by the Constitution.
After hearing from the counsel, the court granted the request made by counsel to the embattled Deputy Governor and adjourned till August 13.
However, the Deputy Governor has been impeached.
He was impeached by 19 of the 37 members of the Imo House of Assembly, the station reports.
The Assembly had earlier received a report by a panel set up by the state Chief Judge which allegedly indicted Madumere of gross misconduct.
Madumere has been having a running political battle with Governor Rochas Okorocha over the latter’s successor in 2019.
While Madumere seeks to succeed Okorocha, the Governor reportedly supports his son-in-law.
The crisis worsened during the APC local and state congresses in the state with Mr Okorocha and his deputy supporting separate factions.
Although the APC faction supported by Madumere and a Senator, Osita Izunaso, was initially recognised by the national leadership of the party, its election was upturned by the court.