Kogi State Judiciary may encounter a little difficulty to swear in the newly nominated deputy governor Edward Onoja. According to reports, this may be as a result of an alleged unconstitutional removal of Simon Achuba as the deputy governor of Kogi state.
After short hours of submitting the report of a panel which was constituted by the Chief judge, Justice Nisiru Ajana, Achuba was impeached by the State House of Assembly.
The panel, which was constituted to investigate the allegations made against him, headed by a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr John Baiyesha, cleared Achuba of all the allegations levied against him.
However, irrespective of the report of the panel which exonerated Achuba, the House still went further to impeach him which has then put the judiciary in a fix of inaugurating the nominated Onoja.
The Nation while quoting a reliable source said:
“The truth is that the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Mr Simon Achuba was purportedly removed behind closed doors barely 30 minutes after a seven-man panel, set up by the Chief Judge, submitted its report.
“The panel, headed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr John Bayelsa, said in clear terms that the Deputy Governor, Achuba, was not guilty of all the allegations contained in the impeachment notice of the House of Assembly. Therefore, there was no condition precedent for the removal of Achuba”
The report said in part:
“In line with Section 188 (8 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) quoted herein before, we hereby report to the Kogi State House of Assembly that the allegations contained in the Notice of Allegations admitted in evidence by this Panel as Exhibit C7 have not been proved.”
There is now suspense over who will administer the oath of office on Edward Onoja.
This is speculated to be as a result of the agitation that whoever inaugurates Omoja may face the consequences of getting sanctioned by the NJC.
Section 185 (2) of the Constitution provides thus:
“The Oath of Allegiance and the oath of office shall be administered by the Chief Judge of the State or Grand Khadi of the Sharia Court Appeal of the State, if any, or president of the Customary Court of Appeal of the State, if any, or the person for the time being respectively appointed to exercise the functions of any of those offices in any state.”
Reports also state that the state government are finding it difficult to approach the Chief Judge, Justice Ajana, who “is an adherent to the spirit and letters of the Constitution”.