Friday, 14 September 2012

Court refuses to stop impeachment move against Jonathan

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, refused to stop the House of Representatives from beginning impeachment moves against President Goodluck Jonathan over poor budget implementation.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole declined the exparte application by the National Chairman of African Liberation Party (ALP), Dr. Emmanuel Osita Okere, who asked the court to stop the House.

Emphasizing the need for caution, the court said it must have been established that the impeachment proceedings had begun before it could hear the suit in order not to interfere with the functions of the House.

By the provision of Section 143 (1) of the 1999 Constitution, the court held that no single arm of the national assembly can unilaterally impeach the president, adding that it requires a joint resolution of the House and the Senate before the president could be removed.

By not joining the Senate as a party to the suit, the court said, the motion ex-parte cannot succeed.

"This may not be the proper occasion for this court to grant ex parte order against the 2nd and 3rd defendants, as the reliefs sought by the plaintiff largely benefits the president", the court said.

Justice Kolawole accordingly refused the ex parte order and adjourned the matter indefinitely, for the Chief Judge to re-assign the case.

Moving the exparte application, the Applicant's counsel, Alex Williams had prayed the court to grant an interim order restraining the House, saying, it was capable of distracting the president from discharging his duties.

The defendants are the Speaker Aminu Tambuwal; the House of Representatives, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and President Jonathan.

In his affidavit in support of the originating summons, the plaintiff stated that the move to impeach the president is heating up the polity, describing it as a disguise to cause political turmoil.

Source: The Nation


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