A Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo has granted an order of mandamus to compel the National Assembly to begin impeachment process against President Muhammadu Buhari, based on some alleged constitutional breaches.
Justice Maureen Onyetenu gave the ex parte order on Wednesday, following a motion filed before her by the Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association, Ilesa branch, Mr. Kanmi Ajibola; and a human rights activist, Mr. Suleiman Adeniyi.
The activists had, about three months ago, written to the Senate and the House of Representatives to begin impeachment process against the President, based on the continuous killings and spending without lawmakers’ approval.
However, the duo approached the court seeking an order to compel the National Assembly to begin the process following their refusal to impeach Buhari based on the activists’ letters.
They alleged that the President did not possess a certificate to be qualified as a President and should be impeached based on this and other alleged impeachable offences.
The judge, in her ruling, granted the leave to compel the National Assembly to commence impeachment process against the President.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government was not aware of any court judgment directing National Assembly to commence impeachment proceedings against President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed stated this while reacting to questions at the end of the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) which was chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.
A Federal High Court, sitting in Osogbo which was presided over by Justice Maurice Onyetenu had on Wednesday reported to have ordered the National Assembly to immediately commence impeachment process against President Buhari.
Onyetenu gave the order based on the suit filed by Kanmi Ajibola and Sulaiman Adeniyi, both lawyers, urging the court to enforce the National Assembly to impeach President Buhari.
However, the minister said he only heard about the judgment and he needed to read it before making any comment on the issue.
“I’m just hearing from you. So, I will need to read it first time myself before I can make any comment. I didn’t here (that),’’
One of the nation’s national dailies had reported on its online platform on July 4 that the two lawyers had three months ago written to both the lower and the upper chambers of the National Assembly on the need to impeach President Buhari.
They cited alleged constitutional breaches by the president and threatened that they will approach the court if they failed to act accordingly.
“But when the lawmakers refused, they headed for court and filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Osogbo asking for an order of mandamus to compel both the Senate and the House of Representatives to start the impeachment proceedings of President Buhari.
“In the suit filed on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, they hinged their arguments on four grounds on why the National Assembly should impeach the Buhari.
“In the motion ex-parte, the duo claimed that in flagrant violation of the 1999 constitution, President Buhari contested election, won and was sworn in as the president on the 29th day of May 2015 without possessing the basic constitutional requirement, which would have made him qualified for the contest of the election.
“They further alleged that the 4th respondent, which is President Buhari in flagrant violation of section 137 (1) (j) of the 1999 constitution presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the purpose of the 2015 presidential election that brought him to the office of the president.
“In the light of the 4th Respondent’s placement to continue in the office as the president, he has no certificate and basic requirement upon which this placement to continue in the office can be placed.”
“Besides, they accused the president of treating the orders of the court with a great disdain and abuses the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at will, particularly from the angle of the observance of the Federal character as contained in section 14 of the constitution.
“The 4th Respondent on the 29th day of May 2015, took an oath of office, among others, to the effect that, he would rule in accordance to and protect the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, particularly section 14 (2) (b) which stipulates that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.
“In the contrary, the 4th Respondent has proved to be unable to guarantee the security of lives and properties of the citizens of the federal Republic of Nigeria in fulfillment of his oath of Office. The herdsmen killings of the innocent citizens under the 4th Respondent have been uncountable, unbearable and unprecedented overheating figures in the globe.
“The 4th Respondent in contravention of the due process and sections 80 and 81 of the 1999 constitution spent about $496 Million on the purchase of Tucano Jets without the approval of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as required by the law.
“The 4th Respondent ordered to be withdrawn, money from the public fund of the Federation without the approval of the National Assembly or the authorisation of its act and same used for the purchase of Tucano Jets,’’ the newspaper further reported