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“Impeachment Update: Shaibu’s Attorney Withdraws as Panel Presses Forward with Investigation”

Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu

The seven-member panel, headed by retired Justice S.A. Omonuwa and appointed by Edo State’s Chief Judge, Justice Daniel Okungbowa, opted on Wednesday to proceed with its investigation into allegations of gross misconduct against Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu. Despite objections raised by Shaibu’s counsel, Prof Oladoyin Awoyale (SAN), citing an Abuja Federal High Court order adjourning the case until April 8, 2024, Justice Omonuwa clarified that the Federal High Court order only mandated parties to appear and present their reasons, not to halt the panel’s proceedings.

Deputy Clerk, Legal, Edo State House of Assembly, Ohaifa Joe, representing the Assembly, argued that Constitution Section 188 (10) does not grant any court the authority to obstruct the House of Assembly or the investigative panel from carrying out their constitutional duties.

Chairman Omonuwa reaffirmed the panel’s decision to continue its work and requested the House of Assembly to present its case. In response, Awoyale informed the panel that his client, Shaibu, would not be able to further participate in the investigation and sought permission for his withdrawal.

When asked if he was relinquishing his right to defend his client, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) replied in the negative, underscoring the importance of adhering to the court’s directive for parties to appear and present their reasons. Upon further questioning about contesting the panel’s ruling, Awoyale (SAN) once again responded negatively, emphasizing the need to comply with the court’s scheduled session on Monday, April 8, 2024.

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