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Impeachment: Zamfara Deputy Gov Asks State Assembly To Respect Court Order

Zamfara State Deputy Governor, Mahdi Aliyu, has asked the State House of Assembly to obey the court order which restrained the parliament from impeaching him.

The House had earlier invited the deputy governor to appear before it in person on July 27, a move the deputy governor did not honour.

Similarly on Tuesday, the parliament issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the deputy governor appear before it over allegations of official misconduct levelled against him.

The invitation is unconnected with a recently conducted political rally on July 10, amid banditry attacks on Maradun communities within the same period under review.

But addressing reporters in Gusau on Thursday, Aliyu raised an alarm that despite the court order, the lawmakers went ahead by scheduling sitting to proceed with impeachment proceedings, thereby disobeying the directive of the court.

He said he is constrained to draw the attention of the public to what he described as an ugly situation, hoping that well-meaning citizens will call the state lawmakers to order and help them appreciate the need to obey subsisting court order.

“You will recall that the Federal High Court has granted an order directing the maintenance of the status quo ante bellum by the Court on the 19th day of July 2021. The Court Order was served on the Chief Judge of Zamfara State, Zamfara State House of Assembly, and the Governor of Zamfara State,” he said.

“Notwithstanding the service of the said Court Order, Mr Emmanuel C. Ukala SAN and Distinguished Life Bencher wrote a letter to the Honourable Speaker of the Zamfara State House of Assembly drawing the attention of the Speaker and the House of Assembly to the Court Order and the Suit no.  FHC/ABJ/CS/650/2021: PDP vs. INEC & 5 Others challenging the vires of the Zamfara State House of Assembly, as presently constituted, to commence impeachment or any other proceedings against the Deputy Governor of Zamfara State, elected on the platform of the PDP.

“Despite the foregoing state of affairs, the Speaker of the Zamfara State House of Assembly and the House of Assembly have now embarked on steps and actions, to over-reach the pending suit, disobey the order of the court and render the effect of the suit nugatory by scheduling a sitting to proceed with impeachment proceedings on Thursday 29th July 2021 (today) against i the Deputy Governor of Zamfara State.

“I am of the honest view that action will be improper, indecorous, in appropriate and unlawful as it constitutes disobedience to court order and will be tantamount to a flagrant breach of the law as enunciated in a host of Supreme Court Cases such as the Supreme Court cases of Vaswani v Savallakh [1972] (PART 2) ALL NLR 438 and Ojukwu v Governor of Lagos State [1983] 2 NWLR (PART 10) 106 and Mohammed v. Olawunmi [1993] 4 NWLR (PART 287) 254.

“These cases have laid down the principle which has become time honoured and a settled law beyond peradventure that where there is pending application pursuant to an appeal before a court, no action aimed at or capable of foisting on the court a fait accompli and render it decision nugatory should be taken or entertain.

“In fact, the parties should not engage itself in speculation by concluding or assuming that the application before the Court will fail because an action before a court is the civilised way of enforcement and maintenance of legal rights and a person that take that course of action should not be silenced or forced to abandon or renounce his right to complain.

“I am constrained to draw the attention of the public this ugly situation in the matter in the hope that well-meaning citizens and people of goodwill will call the House of Assembly of Zamfara State to order and impress upon them the need to obey the subsisting order of the court and respect the judicial process to exercise restraint and await the outcome.”

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