Amaechi Loses Suit To Stop Impeachment

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Rotimi-Amaechi2

A High Court sitting in Port Harcourt on Monday struck out the application filed by the Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, seeking an order of perpetual injunction to prevent members of the State House of Assembly from impeaching him.

The trial judge, Justice Gabriel Omereji, had earlier in October 2013, dismissed the originating summons brought by counsel for the governor, Mr. Beluolisa Nwofor (SAN), on the grounds that it (originating summons) was hostile.

Justice Omereji had also ordered that the matter be brought under a statement of claim.

However, counsel for the five anti-Amaechi lawmakers, Mr. Dike Udenna, said, in a counter-affidavit of the statement of claim, that the court could not reverse itself on a matter it on which it had ruled in the past.

Udenna also argued that the order of the court had yet to be vacated by an Appellate Court.

He stated that the claimants had not been able to prove that the State PDP Chairman, Mr. Felix Obuah and Secretary, Mr. Ibibia Opuene, respectively, were working with lawmakers of the State House of Assembly to impeach the governor.

According to him, the application by the claimants is speculative, hypothetical and an academic exercise, which should be struck out.

Ruling on the matter, Justice Omereji granted Udenna’s submissions and maintained that the matter was not justiceable because the claimants failed to disclose the facts after declaring that the state chairman and secretary of the PDP were planning with lawmakers of the State House of Assembly to impeach the governor.

Omeriji, who described the allegations against Obuah and Opuene as heinous, added that making any pronouncement that would affect them without hearing from them was against the principle of fair-hearing.

Observing that the claimants failed to list Obuah and Opuene as witnesses in the matter, the trial judge also struck out paragraph13 of the affidavit in support of the statement of claim.

According to him, the said paragraph cannot confer on the claimant any reasonable course of action as the claimant counsel was not in place to know what the second set of defendants and the PDP officials were thinking to do without a manifestation to those intentions.

Omeriji, however, described the suit as speculative, hypothetical and unfit for judicial consideration, just as he declined awarding any cost on the ruling.

Joined in the suit as first set of defendants are the Rivers State House of Assembly and Speaker, Mr. Otelemaba Dan-Amachree.

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