A Federal High Court, sitting in Osogbo, Osun State has ordered the National Assembly to immediately commence impeachment process against President Muhammadu Buhari.
The judge gave the order yesterday, based on the suit filed by one Kanmi Ajibola, a lawyer and Sulaiman Adeniyi, a human right activist, urging the court to compel the National Assembly to impeach President Buhari. They had three months ago written the National Assembly on the need to commence the impeachment, citing alleged constitutional breaches by the president and threatened that they will approach the court if they failed to act accordingly.
But when the lawmakers refused, they headed for court and filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Osogbo asking for an order of mandamus to compel both the Senate and the House of Representatives to start the impeachment proceedings of President Buhari. In the suit filed on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, they hinged their arguments on four grounds on why the National Assembly should impeach Buhari. In the motion ex-parte, the duo claimed that in flagrant violation of the 1999 constitution, President Buhari contested election, won and was sworn in as the president on the 29th day of May 2015 without possessing the basic constitutional requirement, which would have made him qualified for the contest of the election.
They further alleged that the fourth respondent, which is President Buhari in flagrant violation of section 137 (1) (j) of the 1999 constitution presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the purpose of the 2015 presidential election that brought him to the office of the president
“In the light of the fourth Respondent’s placement to continue in the office as the president, he has no certificate and basic requirement upon which this placement to continue in the office can be placed.”
Besides, they accused the president of treating the orders of the court with great disdain and abuses the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at will, particularly from the angle of the observance of the Federal character as contained in section 14 of the constitution. “The fourth Respondent on the 29th day of May 2015, took an oath of office, among others, to the effect that, he would rule in accordance to and protect the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, particularly section 14 (2) (b) which stipulates that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.
“In the contrary, the fourth Respondent has proved to be unable to guarantee the security of lives and properties of the citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in fulfillment of his oath of Office. The herdsmen killings of the innocent citizens under the fourth Respondent have been uncountable, unbearable and unprecedented overheating figures in the globe.
“The fourth Respondent in contravention of the due process and sections 80 and 81 of the 1999 constitution spent about $496million on the purchase of Tucano Jets without the approval of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as required by the law.
“The fourth Respondent ordered the withdrawal of money from the public fund of the Federation without the approval of the National Assembly or the authorisation of its act and same used for the purchase of Tucano Jets. “The fourth Respondent has committed several impeachable offences, that is, gross misconduct. “By the provision of section 143 of the 1999 constitution, the first to third Respondents (The Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the National Assembly) have the statutory duty to impeach the fourth Respondent as the president and Commander in – Chief of Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on gross misconduct. “The first to third Respondents have closed their eyes to the gross misconduct of the fourth Respondent.
Barrister Ajibola argued that with all array of documents before the court, he was of the view that the National Assembly must perform its constitutional duties without fear or favour. Justice Onyetenu in her ruling granted the application and ordered “that the National Assembly being the first, second and third respondents commence the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari”.
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