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Impeachment: Shaibu gets final chance to open defence

todayApril 5, 2024 5

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The Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, on Thursday, failed to show up to open his defence before the seven-man panel probing allegations of perjury and leaking the government’s secrets against him.

The retired Justice S. A. Omonuwa-led panel, which had its inaugural sitting on Wednesday in Benin, had adjourned till Thursday for Shaibu to open his defence.

The Edo State House of Assembly, which is the petitioner in the case, had on Wednesday opened and closed its case, paving the way for Shaibu to defend the allegations levelled against him.

However, at the resumed hearing on Thursday, neither Shaibu nor his lawyer, Prof Oladoyin Awoyale (SAN), showed up.

Awoyale, who attended the Wednesday sitting, had excused himself in the middle of the hearing after the panel refused his prayer to suspend the proceedings pending the outcome of a lawsuit filed in Abuja by Shaibu, challenging the impeachment move against him by the state Assembly.

The panel chairman, Justice Omonuwa, had upheld the opposition to the suspension prayer by the Assembly, represented by its Deputy Clerk,  Joe Ohaifa,

After Awoyale excused himself, Ohaifa went on to state the Assembly case against Shaibu.

In his submission,  the Deputy Clerk told the panel that Shaibu leaked the Edo State government’s secrets in the affidavit he filed in support of his suit in Abuja.

He said Shaibu rendered documents relating to the State Executive Council’s meeting.

According to Ohaifa, Shaibu violated the Oath of Secrecy he took and acted contrary to the provisions of  Schedule 7 of the 1999 Constitution.

The panel, after hearing the Assembly’s case, adjourned till Thursday for Shaibu to enter his defence.

Neither he nor his lawyer, however, showed up.

At the Thursday proceeding, the Assembly was represented by its Legal Officer, N.U. Ibrahim, who appeared with two others.

When it became apparent that the defendant was absent and was not represented, Justice Omonuwa then ruled that the panel would further adjourn for the last time to give Shaibu the opportunity to defend himself.

Written by: EaglesFM

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