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Impeachment: Shaibu, Counsel Shun Panel Sitting

Lucky Obukohwo, Reporting

The Edo State deputy governor, Philip Shaibu and his counsel have failed to appear before the seven-man panel set up by the Edo State Chief Judge, Justice Daniel Okungbowa, to investigate the allegation of gross misconducts levelled against him.

Based on their absence, the panel however fixed Friday, April 5, 2024, for final adjournment for the deputy governor to defend himself.

The panel took the decision when it resumed its sitting on Thursday at exactly 10:43AM.

The chairman of the panel, retired Justice S. A Omonua, had called the defendant or his counsel to open his defence but neither Shaibu nor his counsel was present.

When it became apparent that the defendant, Shaibu, was absent and was not represented, Justice Omonua called for appearance for the plaintiff, the Edo State House of Assembly, which initiated the impeachment process.

The Legal Officer, Edo State House of Assembly, N.U. Ibrahim, announced his appearance for the Assembly with two others.

The chairman thereafter said that the panel would wait to see if the defendant would open his defence.

The chairman then ruled that the panel would still adjourn to give the defendant the opportunity to appear before it to present his defence.

“The panel is adjourned for the last time to April 5, 2024 at 12 noon, to allow the defendant to present his defence,” Justice Omonua stated.

It would be recalled that at the inaugural sitting of the panel on Wednesday, Shaibu’s counsel, Prof Oladoyin Awoyale (SAN), took the leave of the panel to excuse himself and the defendant from continuing with the panel’s proceedings.

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