- The National Assembly may have gotten the required legal backing to commence impeachment proceedings against President Muhammadu Buhari
- This is due to a court ruling in Osogbo, the Osun state capital on Wednesday, July 4
- The federal legislature has been ordered to immediately commence impeachment process against the president
A Federal High Court, sitting in Osogbo, the Osun state capital, has ordered the National Assembly to immediately commence impeachment process against President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to Vanguard, Justice Maurine Adaobi Onyetenu on Wednesday, July 4, gave the order based on the suit filed by two Nigerians, Kanmi Ajibola, a lawyer and Sulaiman Adeniyi, a human right activist.
The duo had urged the court to enforce the National Assembly to impeach President Buhari, three months ago, after writing to both the lower and the upper chambers of the National Assembly on the need to impeach the president.
They had cited alleged constitutional breaches by the president and threatened that they will approach the court if the federal legislators fail to act accordingly.
After they were ignored by the lawmakers, Ajibola and Adeniyi headed to court and filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Osogbo asking for an order of mandamus to compel both the Senate and the House of Representatives to start the impeachment proceedings against President Buhari.
In the suit filed on Tuesday, June 19, they hinged their arguments on four grounds on why the National Assembly should impeach the president.
In the motion ex-parte, the duo claimed that in flagrant violation of the 1999 constitution, President Buhari contested election, won and was sworn in as the president on the 29th day of May 2015 without possessing the basic constitutional requirement, which would have made him qualified for the contest of the election.
They further alleged that the 4th respondent, which is President Buhari in flagrant violation of section 137 (1) (j) of the 1999 constitution presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the purpose of the 2015 presidential election that brought him to the office of the president.
Besides, they accused the president of treating the orders of the court with a great disdain and abuses the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at will, particularly from the angle of the observance of the Federal character as contained in section 14 of the constitution.
They told the court that as applicants in the matter, they have the right and duty to compel the 1st and 3rd Respondents to perform their statutory duty of impeachment against the 4th Respondent, having bothered on the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Citing several constitutional authorities in the written address in support of the motion ex-parte and with 44-paragraph affidavits, the duo posed some questions by putting Nigeria side by side with some developed nations.
“Can the conduct of the 4th Respondent, particularly on the presentation of a forged certificate, be condone in America or great Britain unchecked?
“Can the 4th Respondent continue to benefits from his act of forgery and infraction of constitution?
“Definitely, an American president cannot be genuinely accused of presentation of a forged certificate and still be allowed to continue as the president, likewise the prime minister of the Great Britain,” they noted.
After moving the application, Barrister Ajibola urged the court that with all array of documents before the judge, the National Assembly must perform its constitutional duties without fear or favour.
Justice Onyetenu in her ruling granted the application and ordered “that the National Assembly being the 1st, 2nda nd 3rd respondents commence the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
Further hearing of the matter has been fixed to Tuesday, October 30.
Meanwhile, President Buhari is facing growing pressure to sack his security chiefs over indiscriminate killings across the country.
Many groups and prominent individuals in the country say it is time to rejig Nigeria's security architecture as the killings continue in some parts of the nation.
One of the groups, Good Governance Initiative (GGI), on Sunday, July 1, took its view even a notch further by asking the president to resign.
Why President Buhari cannot control killings in Nigeria - Nigerians cry out on Legit.ng TV