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Appeal Court reinstates sacked Bayelsa dep gov, Ebebi

THE Appeal Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has reinstated the impeached Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, Peremobowei Ebebi.
Counsel to the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Mr. Sebastine Hon (SAN), who confirmed the reinstatement, said his client would appeal against the judgment and ask for a stay of execution.
In the lead judgment delivered yesterday by Justice Dantijo Mohammed, the court ruled that the state House of Assembly erred by impeaching the deputy governor who had filed a case in court to prevent his removal from office.       
Justice Mohammed ruled that the Bayelsa State lawmakers were in contempt of the court when they set up an impeachment committee to sack Ebebi.
The court ordered that the former Speaker of the House of Assembly, Werinipre Seibarugu, who was sworn in as deputy governor following Ebebi’s removal, should vacate the position immediately.
The court also ordered the payment of Ebebi’s entitlements while out of office.
Mohammed also stressed that a Yenagoa High Court where Ebebi had filed his suit was wrong to have declined to hear the matter by claiming that it lacked jurisdiction over it.
He, therefore, referred the matter back to the lower court but ordered it assigned to another judge.
The court ordered that the status quo before Ebebi went to court be maintained before the determination of the matter.
Justice Mohammed ruled: “This appeal is allowed and the ruling of the Bayelsa State High Court delivered on June 29, 2010 is set aside.”
It would be recalled that the Bayelsa Assembly had on June 24, 2010 impeached Ebebi despite the suit he filed in a Bayelsa High court to prevent his removal by the state lawmakers.      
At the Appeal Court, Ebebi had submitted that the lower court erred in law when it declined jurisdiction to entertain his suit No YHC/206/2010 and subsequently struck out the matter on grounds that the appellants in the first Appellant’s counter affidavit in suit YHC/201/2010 failed sufficiently to deny the depositions in the respondents’ affidavits in support of the motion to strike out suit No YHC/201/2010.
He explained that the motion and counter-affidavit referred to in the ruling of the lower court was not in respect of Suit No.   YHC/206/2010 but were in respect of Suit No.  YHC/201/2010.
He argued that the lower court could not therefore have lawfully relied on the said motion and court-affidavit to decline jurisdiction and consequently strike out suit No YHC/206/2010.
Ebebi also pointed out that the lower court erred in law when it held that the appellants failed to prove non-compliance with the provisions of the Section 188 of the Constitution and consequently declined jurisdiction to entertain the suit and struck it out.
But in a reaction through a statement in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Nathan Egba, said the scenario was not quite clear as the court had quashed the impeachment of the former deputy governor but did not direct his re-instatement as the deputy governor.
According to him the situation would be subjected to further legal clarification.

Short URL: http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=4388

Posted by on Feb 16 2011. Filed under Bayelsa, Raw Politics, State News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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