From Chris Gaga, Makurdi
A Makurdi High Court presided by Justice Theresa Igoche, has stopped eight suspended members of the Benue State House of Assembly from proceeding with the impeachment process they initiated on the Governor of Benue state.
The judge also restrained them from sitting and upheld their suspension pending the determination of the Motion on Notice.
“I agree with the Senior Advocate of Nigeria that the applicants have made out a case for the grant of orders sought therein.” She stressed.
“The order also restrains the Chief Judge of Benue state from receiving or acting on any process or request, issued pursuant to the purported sitting, proceedings and resolutions of 30th July, 2018 aimed at or commenced for the purpose of removing the Governor of the State pending the determination of the Motion on Notice,”The Judge held.
Justice Igoche also upheld the subsisting order that was earlier issued by Justice Adam Onum, Chief Judge of Benue State restraining the former speaker, Terkimbi Ikyange, and other former principal officers from parading as same and ordered the security agencies to vacate the premises of the Benue State house of Assembly.
Reacting, Benue State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Michael Gusa, applauded the ruling saying as a government that respect the rule of law, they will always seek redress in the law courts when felt unsatisfied.
Also speaking, Counsel to the Planitt, Sebastian Hon, SAN, described the ruling as sound and promised to abide by the orders of the court to ensure justice is given.
Addressing newsmen,new Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Hon Titus Ubah, said with the ruling, they expect the police and other security agencies to vacate the premises and stop interfering in their legislative business maintaining that even the President of Country has denied link to the continued siege of the Assembly complex by the Police.
The Applicants which include Governor Samuel Ortom, Benue State Government, Benue Attorney-General of the State and Commissioner of Justice, and 22 members of the Benue Assembly had on tuesday 31st of July, approached the Court, seeking eight reliefs amongst which were interim order restraining the eight members from sitting, proceeding and or acting in furtherance to the impeachment process of governor Samuel Ortom, and the Chief Judge from acting on any request from the suspended members.
The eight members restrained by the ruling include: former speaker, Terkimbi Ikyange, former deputy Speaker,Jame Okefe, former Majority leader, Benjamin Adanyi, former deputy majority leader, Nick Eworo, Barr Adams Okloho, Hon Benjamin Nungwa, Hon Terhemba Chabo and Hon Benjamin Mngutyo. Other defendants of the motion are:The Benue State House of Assembly, Commissioner of Police Benue Command, AIG, IGP, NPF, Nigerian Army, NAVY, NSCDC, NAF and the Chief Judge of Benue State.