Court refuses to stop Jonathan’s planned impeachment

Inside the chambers of the House of Representatives

The head of an opposition party wants the court to stop the proposed impeachment of the President.

The Federal High Court, on Friday, in Abuja, declined to stop the House of Representatives from commencing impeachment proceedings against President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Judge, Gabriel Kolawole, said that the court must be certain that the impeachment proceeding was on course.

The judge held that it was premature for the court to entertain the suit, adding that doing so would unduly impede on the functions of the legislature.

According to him, Sections 143 (1) of the 1999 Constitution required a joint impeachment resolution of both arms of the National Assembly before the president could be removed.

He explained that by not joining the senate as a party to the suit, the motion ex-parte cannot succeed.

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“This may not be the proper occasion for this court to grant exparte order against the House of Representatives and the Speaker,’’ Mr. Kolawole ruled

The judge said that the court is also worried “whether the plaintiff has locus standi to commence this action as the reliefs sought largely benefited the president.”

“The plaintiff is, therefore, ordered to in the circumstance serve all the parties in the matter forthwith.’’

The National Chairman of the African Liberation Party, Emmanuel Okereke, had on Thursday urged the court to restrain the house from commencing impeaching proceeding against the president over budget implementation.

Mr. Okereke, in the exparte motion, joined the Speaker, the House of Representatives, the National Assembly, the Attorney General of the Federation and President Goodluck Jonathan as co-defendants.

He argued that the move, in July, to impeach the president for non-implementation of 100 per cent of the 2012 was inappropriate.

Some members of the House of Representatives had threatened to impeach Mr. Jonathan if the Federal Government failed to appropriately implement the 2012 budget.

Mr. Okereke said that the September deadline issued by the house for 100 per cent implementation of the budget was erroneous.

The case was adjourned indefinitely.

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