Godwin Tsa Abuja
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, yesterday, stopped the Edo government and Governor Godwin Obaseki from arresting and prosecuting the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, over indictments contained in a white paper by the state government.
A panel of inquiry set up by the state government and headed by Justice J. Oyomire, had issued a white paper that indicted Oshiomhole of allegations on corruption and recommended the arrest and prosecution of Oshiomhole.
West Idahosa, counsel to the APC national chairman, had moved an ex-parte motion urging the court to stop the arrest and prosecution of his client on account of the white paper acceded to the prayer.
His motion was vehemently opposed by counsel to the Edo government, Mr. Alex Ejeiseme (SAN) through a notice of preliminary objection challenging the motion.
Others listed as respondents in the ex parte motion are Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Justice J. Oyomire, the Inspector General of Police and the Department of State Services.
However, after listening to submissions of counsel, the judge ordered respondents in the matter to stay action in respect of the case pending the determination of the issue of jurisdiction.
Ejeiseme had earlier objected to the hearing of the case by the court on the ground that the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the matter.
In his ruling the court held:’’An interim order is hereby made restraining the prosecution of the applicant pursuant to the report submitted to the first to third respondents or any white paper, pending the determination of the issue of jurisdiction raised in the 1st to fourth respondents notice preliminary objection.’’
The court also directed Oshiomhole’s counsel to serve all the respondents his processes within 48 hours.
The case was adjourned to June 17, 2020.