Elder Simon Achuba and Governor Yahaya Bello
A High Court sitting in Lokoja, Kogi State, has fixed ruling for February 27, 2020 on the matter brought before it on whether the removal of Elder Simon Achuba and the subsequent nomination of Chief Edward Onoja followed due process.
The High Court 4 sitting in Lokoja reserved judgement for February after listening to counsels of the claimant and the defendants on Wednesday.
Counsel to the claimant J. S. Okutepa (SAN) while making his submission asked the court to declare the removal of the former Kogi State Deputy Governor, Elder Simon Achuba from office by the Assembly as a violation of the Constitution.
He urged the court to declare the actions and subsequent nomination of another person to the office by the lawmakers as null and void.
Okutepa (SAN), who made the submission while adumbrating on the case between Elder Simon Achuba verses the Kogi State House of Assembly and 29 others when the matter came up for hearing at the Lokoja High Court 4, described the action of the Assembly as a constitutional coup, hatched and executed in a democracy.
Relied on Section 188 subsection 8, Okutepa said the section stopped the Assembly from further action having discovered that the former Deputy Governor was not found wanting.
Okutepa said the onus to produce the remaining volumes of the report purported to have indicted the former Deputy Governor rest with the defendants which they fail to do, pointed out that the 29th defendants also did not file a counter notice, described the process of removing the former deputy governor as not following due process.
In his response, Chief Adeniyi, counsel to the 1 to 4th defendants prayed the court to dismissed the suit filed by the claimant as the claimant has no power to challenge the proceedings of the House of Assembly, as the laws establishing the seven man panel of enquiry that sat over the issues of the Deputy Governor gives it powers not to entertained or be questioned by any court of law, described the court process as illegally incompetent.
While he described the issues raised in the originating summons as vexatious and centred on guess work, said the claimant was unable to provide the remaining volumes of the report that he claimed didn’t indict him, insisting that the onus of proven not guilty rests with the claimant.
Also in their separate responses, Barr. Isaac Ekpa, counsel to the 5 to 25 defendants, Z.E.Abbas, Counsel to the 26 to the 28 defendants, urged the court to decline jurisdiction on the matter and to seek to find out what constitutes an abuse of office as alleged of the claimant and to dismiss the application for lacking in Merit of the originating summons.
Similarly, M.Y Abdullahi counsel to the 30th defendant, urged that the matter be thrown out as the exhibits presented are not certified, as such urged the court to dismiss the originating summons.