The impeachment move initiated by the state House of Assembly against Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prince Eze Madumere, has suffered setback as the Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday granted the prayer of Mr. Stanley Okwara, who is the plaintiff in a suit to stop the impeachment process of the Deputy Governor.
The trial Judge, Justice Ahmed ruled that the Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, the Chief Judge of the state and five other defendants be served with the court summons, saying that the service on the respondents would “tie” the hands of the parties from going on with the impeachment.
Justice Ahmed also granted the request of the counsel to the plaintiff, Mr. Johnmary Jideobi, to serve the defendants by substituted means or by registered courier service and outside the jurisdiction of the court in Imo State as prayed.
He also directed all the parties to maintain the status quo pending the hearing so as not to destroy the res (subject matter) in the motion on notice.
He said: “It appears to me that the issue before me is not impeachment itself or an action on impeachment. It is an application from the applicant, a legal practitioner from Imo State of Nigeria being afraid of the continuous infraction of the constitution by lawmakers in Imo State House of Assembly as argued in his address.
“I asked myself whether the said action could not be competently commenced in the High Court of Imo State. I must caution myself not to grant the orders sought in the motion ex-parte so as not to frustrate the smooth running of the Imo State House of Assembly, or restraining the Honourable Chief Judge of Imo State from exercising his constitutional duties.
“I must also state that the parties shall be served with the processes in this suit and the orders of this court and the law remains that same ties their hands as if an order has been made in law, as this court has inherent powers to set aside any step or steps taken after the service of this processes on the defendants, to foist a situation of helplessness on this court”.
The Judge adjourned the case to 27 of November 2018 for further hearing.