Imo court stops further impeachment moves

www.odogwublog.com reports that Justice Ben Iheka of the Imo State high court yesterday ordered that the State Chief Judge, Justice Pascal Njoku and the State House of Assembly should stop any action relating to the impeachment of the State Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere until the determination of the substantive suit before him.

The other respondents are members of the probe panel, who are Nze Saba Nze; Charles Okoro; Barth N. Opara; Mr. Chika Anosike; Mr. Nwokocha Chidozie; Mrs. Olivia Nwanekezi; and Amadi Chidinma.

Justice Iheaka gave the order in one of the suits filed by Madumere seeking to stop the impeachment process to remove him as the number two citizen of Imo State. 

Further, he directed that the remaining three members of the probe panel who have not been served with the motion for interlocutory injunction henceforth respect the "pendency of the suit, and refrain from doing anything that will tamper, in whatsoever manner, the subject of the suit. 

Earlier, Counsel to Madumere, Ken Njemanze (SAN) had informed the court that all the parties have been served with all the court processes, even as he asked the court to grant an interim order directing all parties to maintain the status quo. 

 Njemanze said: "due to the nature of the subject matter of this suit, which touches and concerns the office and person of the Deputy Governor, coupled with the fact that we have filed an affidavit of urgency, I humbly apply that the interest of justice in this matter will be served if the Court makes an interim order, directing parties, particularly those served, to maintain the status quo."

He argued that with the planned court vacation which commenced today, the respondents appointed by the Chief Judge may commence sittings, saying if a restraining order is not granted, the substance of the suit may be lost when the court reconvenes.

"The Court is likely going on vacation and the second to eight respondents, who were appointed by the first respondent (the Chief Judge), to investigate the plaintiff, have been inaugurated and sworn-in, to begin their assignment. If an order for the maintenance of the status quo is not made, the panelists will continue and conclude. The substratum will therefore be lost before the Court resumes", Njemanze said.

However, the State Attorney General, Mr Nlemadim (SAN) opposed the motion saying it will not serve the interest of justice.

He said "We are opposing the application for an interim order. Our contention is that the grant of an interim order, will not serve the interest of justice. This is an indirect way of getting the order. We expect an accelerated hearing. The panel's job is provided for by the Constitution. It will be unconstitutional to make an interim order", Nlemadim argued.

Further, he refused to guarantee that the panel will not continue any action during the court vacation, saying he can not speak for them. 

On his part, the counsel for the Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Acho I him, Mr O Chibueze said he aligned with the submissions of the Attorney General even as he added that he could not provide the guarantee sought by the court.

Thereafter, Justice Iheaka ordered that the Chief Judge, Justice Pascal Njoku and the State House of Assembly should stop any action relating to the impeachment of the State Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere until the hearing of the motion on notice and adjourned the matter to August 13, 2018.
Imo court stops further impeachment moves Imo court stops further impeachment moves Reviewed by Odogwu Emeka Odogwu on Monday, July 30, 2018 Rating: 5

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