Court refuses to stop impeachment proceedings against Ekiti governor, Ayodele Fayose

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday refused to halt the impeachment proceeding being spearheaded by the 19 All Progressives Congress, APC, members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly against Governor Ayodele Fayose, and his deputy, Kolapo Olusola.

The impeachment proceeding notice is said to have been served on the governor and his deputy by the 19 All Progressives Congress, APC, members who have been at loggerheads with the governor since he came on board last October.

Although Fayose has been working with only seven members of the PDP in the House, the APC lawmakers, which the governor does not recognise, returned to the state this week with an impeachment notice, prompting the closure of the House of Assembly by security agents.

But the governor’s bid to stop the impeachment through an interim injunction did not go through as the court rejected their prayers contained in an ex parte application seeking interim injunction to set aside the impeachment notice served on them and halt further moves to remove them from office.

The court, however, granted prayers contained in the ex parte application relating to service of the court processes on the defendants.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed ordered the defendants in the suit, including the APC factional Speaker of the House of Assembly, Dr Adewale Omirin, and the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Ayodeji Daramola, to appear in court on April 16.

The court ordered the defendants to appear in court to show cause why the order of interim injunction being sought by the plaintiffs halting the impeachment proceedings should not be granted.

Other defendants in the suit are, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba, and the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The plaintiffs in the suit are the Speaker of the House of Assembly (described as being occupied by the Peoples Democratic Party factional Speaker, Dele Olugbemi); Ekiti State House of Assembly, Fayose and Olusola.

Counsel for the plaintiffs, Mr. Ahmed Raji, had sought the interim injunction halting the impeachment moves through an ex parte application dated and filed on April 7, 2015.

He had urged the court to grant the interim injunction setting aside the impeachment notice already served on the governor and the deputy and also restraining the defendants from taking any further steps in the impeachment moves.

The lawyer argued that the act by Omirin to issue an impeachment notice and serve same on the governor and the deputy governor as Speaker of the House of Assembly amounted to impersonating the incumbent Speaker.