Court Reinstates Kogi Speaker, Other Principal Officers


Tobi Soniyi in Abuja

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the reinstatement of removed Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Hon Momoh Jimoh Lawal to office.

Lawal and nine other principal members of the house had challenged their purported removal from office by the Umar Imam- led group on February 16, 2016, insisting that due process of the law was not followed.

Other plaintiffs in the suit are Aliyu Akuh (deputy speaker), Kolawole Matthew, Osiyi Godwin, Sunday Shigaba, Ndako Idris, Oluwatoyin Lawal, Musa Jimoh, Victor Omofaye and the Peoples Democratic Party while the defendants are Honourables Umar Imam, Friday Sani, Lawal Ahmed, Bello Abdullahi and John Abah, 1st to 5th respectively.

The Inspector General of Police, the Director General of the Department of State Security Services and the Commandant Civil Defence Corps and Kogi State House of Assembly were listed as 6th to 9th defendants respectively.

The litigation centred on the struggle for leadership of the House between the two contending parties, consisting of the plaintiffs on the one side and the defendants on the other.

The plaintiffs challenged their replacement on the grounds that it was unlawfully and unconstitutionally done and therefore urged the court to set it aside and their position restored.

Whereas the defendants argued that the removal of Lawal was as a result of his resignation, the 1st plaintiff (Lawal) insisted before the court that he did not resign.

Delivering judgement on the suit yesterday, the trial judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba ordered the 1st to 5th defendants to “Immediately vacate the different offices they now purportedly occupy by reason of the purported impeachment and removal of the Speaker and other Principal Officers.”