George Okoh in Makurdi
The leadership crisis rocking the Benue State House of Assembly yesterday took another twist as a Makurdi High Court presided over by Justice Theresa Igoche restrained the new Speaker, Mr. Titus Uba, and the assembly from sitting and carrying out any legislative functions.
Also restrained are Hon. Johnson Ahubi, Hon. Avine Agbom, Hon. Audu Sule, Hon. Kester Kyenge and Dr. Torese Agena-Deputy Speaker, Majority Leader, Deputy Majority Leader, Chief Whip and Clerk of the assembly respectively.
Justice Igoche who gave the restraining order while ruling on an ex parte motion filed by the impeached Speaker, Hon. Terkimbi Ikyange, and four others, also restrained them from conducting and carrying any functions of the House of Assembly, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
The judge also restrained Uba and his leadership from entering and/or further entry and occupying the offices of the 1st to 5th plaintiffs/applicants as well as further entry into the offices of 1st to 4th plaintiffs in the House of Assembly complex.
The presiding Judge noted that “upon hearing from Chief MM Osuman (SAN) for the applicants, the court held as follows: I have read the motion No. MHC/1694m/18 filed on August 10, 2018, together with the other process accompanying it.
“Particularly, I have looked at paragraph 22-34 of the affidavit in support and paragraphs 5-13 of the affidavit of urgency.
According to her, “This court takes judicial notice of the order of interim injunction made against the plaintiffs/ applicants on August 1, 2018, in suit No.MHC/259/18.”
Justifying the restraining orders, Justice Igoche said in her opinion, “it is necessary for the purpose of averting any danger that may be caused and to avoid any breach of the peace, that this application be granted so that the members of the Benue State House of Assembly will not sit in the 5th plaintiff/applicant(s) assembly complex until the motion on notice is heard and determined.”
The court in July also restrained the plaintiffs from parading themselves as officials of the assembly.
With yesterday’s order by the court, the state House of Assembly is without a leadership.