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Impeachment: Imo Dep.Gov. gets reprieve as Court ‘halts’ processess

… adjourn matter to Nov.27

Reprieve may have come the way of embattled Imo deputy governor as a Federal High Court in Abuja has granted an application by the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Eze Madumere, to halt the impeachment process against him by the state House of Assembly.

The House had on Tuesday set up a six-member committee headed by Kennedy Ibe, member representing Obowo Local Government Area, to probe allegations of misconduct against Mr Madumere and report back to it within seven days.

Surprisingly, the committee submitted its report in lessthan 48 hours later on wednesday, wherein it concluded that Mr Madumere has a case to answer.

The House subsequently on Thursday served a notice of impeachment on the deputy governor asking him to defend himself against the allegations against him.

However Mr Madumere said he was not properly served the notice, after one of his aides had on Wednesday refuted the allegations as baseless and dragged the lawmakers and the state chief judge before the court in Abuja.

According to court papers made available to mediamen by his counsel, Johnmary Jideobi, the trial judge gave an order that could be interpreted to mean halting the removal process pending determination of the suit by Mr Madumere.

The Judge, O .A Musa, further granted the applicant leave to serve the processes in the suit on the defendants.

“Parties are to maintain the status quo pending the hearing of the motion on notice,” the court directed.

Maintaining status quo is often interpreted by lawyers to mean keeping the situation as it was before the case was filed. In this case, according to Mr Jideobi, ensuring the deputy governor remains in office until the court case is determined.

“Any party affected by this order may apply to set it aside for good cause,” the judge directed.

“Parties are to file a written argument addressing this court on its jurisdiction to entertain the instant suit.

“Motion on notice is adjourned to November 27,” he said.

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