A High Court in Imo State has declared as null and void the impeachment of the state Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere, by the state House of Assembly.
In a ruling by Justice Benjamin Iheaka Tuesday sequel to the suit filed by Madumere challenging his removal from office by the state House of Assembly, the court held that the impeachment of Madumere was “invalid and of no legal effect.”
Justice Iheaka ruled that the chief judge constituted the seven-man panel to investigate the allegations of gross misconduct against Madumere by a committee set up by the state House of Assembly outside the seven days lifeline provided for in the 1999 Constitution.
He further argued that while the resolution by the state legislature to commence impeachment process on Madumere was reached on July 11, the chief judge constituted the panel nine days later which was on July 20.
Madumere was impeached July 31 by the State House of Assembly over allegations of gross misconduct and abuse of office following a fallout with Governor Rochas Okorocha.
Justice Iheaka in the judgement lambasted the state Chief Judge, Paschal Nnadi and the Attorney General of the state, Militus Nlemadim, for not adhering to the provisions of Section 188(5) of the 1999 Constitution as amended in the impeachment proceedings against the deputy governor.
He equally frowned at the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Acho Ihim, who was the 9th defendant, with the state House of Assembly as 10th defendant, for violating an interim order he issued restraining the impeachment process against Madumere on July 30.