Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
An Edo State High Court yesterday, declared the three monthsâ€™ suspension slammed on Godwin Adenomo by the state House of Assembly as unconstitutional, illegal and of no effect whatsoever.
Adenomo, representing Ovia South West state constituency of Edo State, was suspended on May 16, 2018, for demanding payment of N220 million as his outstanding benefits and salaries.
He was suspended for the first three months for failing to appear before the Houseâ€™s ad hoc committee to prove his claims.
Speaker of the House, Hon Kabiru Adjoto said Adenomo did not follow proper channel in line with the House rules to make his demands, which he described as political and a deliberate attempt to malign and bring the name of the House to disrepute.
Based on these allegations, Adenomo through his counsel, Kingsley Obamogie , approached the court, demanding that his suspension was not only unconstitutional, but political and should be set aside.
Delivering judgment in a suit filed by Obamogie, Justice VO Oviawe held that Adjoto lacked the powers to suspend Adenomo for three months.
Justice Oviawe who declared that suspending the lawmaker without any hearing was unconstitutional, invalid, null and void, set aside the purported suspension of Adenomo.
The court held that Adenomo was entitled to exercise his constitutional rights and discharge his duties as the representative of his constituency without any inhibition or constraint whatsoever from the defendants.
Justice Oviawe also declared that he should not be subjected to any form of marginalization, whatsoever, by the speaker, their servants, agents and/or privies.
The judge granted an order of perpetual injunction restraining Adjoto, their servants, agents and/or privies from interfering with the rights of Adenomo as the elected member of the Edo State House of Assembly, representing Ovia Southâ€“West constituency, without due regard to the process of law.
He further granted an order of injunction restraining the defendants from further marginalising Adenomo in breach of his right as elected member of the assembly.
The court also held that the request of Adenomo to the ad hoc committee for adjourning of its sitting to May 21, 2018 was reasonable which the ad-hoc committee ought to have acceded to.