Shaibu Writes CJN Over Impeachment

Former Edo Deputy Governor, Phillip Shaibu

The impeached Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, has written to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, to obtain a complaint form to file a formal petition against the Chief Judge of Edo, Justice Daniel Okungbowa.

Shaibu was impeached on Monday by the state House of Assembly, following the adoption of the report of a seven-man panel set up by the Chief Judge to probe him for alleged perjury and leaking the government’s secrets.

The panel concluded its probe last Friday after adjourning twice for Shaibu to appear for his defence, without the ex-deputy governor showing up.

His lawyer, Prof Oladoyin Awoyale (SAN), who attended the panel’s inaugural sitting last Wednesday, had excused himself in the middle of the hearing after the panel refused his prayer to suspend the proceedings pending the outcome of a lawsuit in Abuja.

Following the submission of the panel’s report to the Assembly on Monday, Shaibu was impeached.

He, however, described his impeachment as an illegality, vowing to challenge it.

On Tuesday, The PUNCH sighted a letter dated April 8 written on his behalf by a law firm, Chambers of B.I. Dakum and Co, to the CJN, requesting to file a formal complaint against the Edo Chief Judge.

The law firm asked the CJN, who doubles as Chairman of the National Judicial Council, for leave to obtain a complaint form to file a formal petition against the Chief Judge of Edo State, Justice Daniel Okungbowa.

The letter signed by Adaze A. Emwanta, a former Commissioner for Information and Orientation to Governor Godwin Obaseki, was titled:  Re: Notice to obtain a complaint form to file a formal complaint against Hon Justice Daniel Okungbowa, the Chief Judge of Edo State, for abuse of office, official misconduct and desecrating his oath of office.”

It read: “We write as solicitors to Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu, who until this morning was Deputy Governor of  Edo state.

“Rt. Hon Philip Shaibu has instructed us to file a formal complaint to your council against Hon. Justice Daniel Okungbowa, the Chief Judge of Edo State for abuse of office, official misconduct and desecration of his oath of office.

“The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to formally request a complaint form  prescribed under the Judicial Discipline Regulations 2017, to enable our client to file his complaint against the subject judge.”

Meanwhile, members of the All Progressives Congress, Etsako West Chapter, on Tuesday, protested the alleged plan by Shaibu to return to the APC following his impeachment.

Shaibu followed Governor Godwin Obaseki from the Peoples Democratic Party to the APC in 2020 amid a crisis with ex-Governor Adams Oshiomhole.

The protesters, who came from the 12 wards in the council area, marched to the party secretariat to submit their petition against the move.

Presenting a communique on behalf of the APC stakeholders in the Etsako West LGA, Yakubu Musa said Shaibu’s exit from the APC in 2020 brought peace and tranquility to the party, saying that the former deputy governor’s return would bring rancour and disunity to the party.

Musa said, “We are protesting against an attempt by the impeached deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, to jump boat and defect to the APC.

“The attempt is viewed seriously by members of the APC as a calculated plan by Shaibu to bring rancour, disharmony and unprecedented crisis into the APC.”

Musa appealed to the National Chairman of the party,  Abdullahi Ganduje,  Oshiomhole and the state acting Chairman, Jaret Tenebe, not to allow Shaibu back into the party.

He added, “It is on record that Philip Shaibu has not won any election since he left the APC to the PDP. He does not possess any electoral value that could warrant his readmittance into our great party.

“We call on our national leaders to hear our voice and help us keep the peace we currently enjoy in the Edo APC.

“Any attempt to readmit Shaibu into the APC is a direct invitation to crisis, fragmentation, disaffection, disenchantment and disintegration,” Musa added.

Meanwhile, Obaseki has said he never envisaged that he would be having two deputy governors in his eight-year tenure as governor.

The Edo governor stated this in a post on Tuesday on his   X handle.

He said,  “At no point in this journey did I envisage that I would have to work with two deputies before the end of my eight-year run in office. As there cannot be a vacuum in government, we have, by consensus, selected Omobayo Godwins to take over the baton as the new Deputy Governor of Edo State.

“At 38 years of age, my new deputy, Omobayo, is a symbol of our undying belief in the power of our youth to transform our dear state, bringing vigour and renewed energy to the drive to place young people at the centre of politics and development agenda.

“Omabayo is the man for this season. Together, we will be working in these last few months of my administration as we make progress on our promise to finish strong for the benefit of our dear people.”

THE PUNCH

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