The State High Court sitting in Lokoja, on Thursday, February 27 has declared the impeachment of the former Kogi State Deputy Governor, Simon Achuba, as null and void.
Achuba was in October 2019 impeached by the State House of Assembly.
But Justice John Olorunfemi on Thursday faulted Achuba’s removal from office, describing it as a violation of the Constitution.
The judge, while delivering the judgment, also said the nomination of Edward Onoja as the deputy governor did not follow due process.
Justice Olorunfemi described the action of the Kogi State House of Assembly as a constitutional coup, hatched and executed in a democracy explaining further that the action is contrary to Section 188 subsection 8, a section that stopped the Assembly from further action having discovered that the former deputy governor was not found wanting by the panel.
The Judge 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 failed to do.
He pointed out that the 29th defendants also did not file a counter-notice, describing the process of removing the former deputy governor as not following due process.
Achuba had earlier challenged his impeachment by the Kogi State Assembly and sought for relief of the court to declare his impeachment as illegal and to be reinstated as the rightful deputy governor of the state.
In their submission, counsel to the impeached deputy governor, Jibrin Okutachi (SAN), in a 13-page counter-affidavit, submitted that the court should discountenance the application by the Clerk, describing it as a breach of court order 11, rule 2, subsection 4, and section 115 subsections 4 of the evidence act.
His impeachment followed the submission of a report of the committee set up by the State Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajana, to investigate an allegation of gross misconduct against the former deputy governor.