Edo Assembly Accuses Deputy Governor Shaibu of Leaking Government Secrets and Perjury Amid Rift with Gov. Obaseki | #NwokeukwuMascot

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 Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu 

 The Edo State House of Assembly has accused Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu of leaking government secrets and committing perjury. The Assembly claims that these alleged offenses are impeachable. The accusations have come to light during a prolonged rift between Governor Godwin Obaseki and the deputy governor.

The Assembly made these allegations on Wednesday during the inaugural sitting of a seven-man panel set up by the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Daniel Okungbowa, to probe the deputy governor. Retired Justice S.A. Omonuwa is heading the impeachment panel, which was established at the request of the State House of Assembly. The impeachment process against Shaibu began on March 5.

According to The PUNCH, the Assembly, represented by its deputy clerk, Joe Ohaifa, stated that the impeachment proceedings were based on a petition accusing the deputy governor of perjury and leaking government secrets. Ohaifa claimed that Shaibu leaked the state government's secrets in the affidavit he filed in support of an Abuja lawsuit, and that he tendered documents relating to the State Executive Council's meeting. Ohaifa argued that by doing so, Shaibu violated the Oath of Secrecy he took and acted against the provisions of Schedule 7 of the 1999 Constitution.

After hearing the Assembly's case, the impeachment panel adjourned until Thursday for the deputy governor to present his defense. However, earlier in the proceedings, Shaibu's lawyer, Prof. Oladoyin Awoyale (SAN), excused himself from the hearing after the panel rejected his application to suspend the proceedings. Awoyale requested the suspension of the impeachment proceedings pending the outcome of a suit filed by Shaibu before a Federal High Court in Abuja. The court has set April 8 as the date for parties in the suit to appear and show cause why it should not grant Shaibu's prayer for an interlocutory injunction to halt the impeachment proceedings.

The deputy clerk rejected Shaibu's lawyer's argument, stating that no court has the right to prevent the House of Assembly or the impeachment panel from performing their constitutional duties, as per Section 188 (10) of the 1999 Constitution. The panel chairman, Justice Omonuwa, agreed with the deputy clerk's assessment, noting that the invitation for the parties to show cause was not an order to halt the impeachment proceedings. Therefore, the panel will continue with the proceedings.

In response to Justice Omonuwa's ruling, Awoyale stated that Shaibu would not be able to participate further in the investigation and requested the panel's permission to be excused. However, he clarified that he was not waiving his right to defend his client and emphasized the importance of obeying the court's decision. Awoyale stressed that all parties should appear before the court to show cause. He also confirmed that he was not "arresting the ruling of the panel" but emphasizing the need to obey the court, which will convene on Monday, April 8.

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