By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—BARRING any unforeseen circumstances, the legal battle instituted by Imo State Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere, to keep his job, will kick off today in the state High Court, Owerri.
Madumere, in his first suit against the state Chief Judge, the Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly and the Imo State House of Assembly, contested the validity of the Assembly’s motion and the Speaker’s request to the Chief Judge to constitute a seven-man panel to investigate the alleged gross misconduct levelled against him.
Apparently irked by failure of the defendants to respect the pendency of the suit, the deputy governor again filed two fresh suits against the defendants in the original suit and the seven-man panelists.
Joined in the fresh suit as the second to eight defendants, are Nze Saba Nze, Charles Okoro, Barth N. Opara, Mr. Chika Anosike, Mr. Nwokocha Chidozie, Mrs. Olivia Nwanekezi and Amadi Chidinma.
The deputy governor urged the court to “determine whether the Chief Judge can legally constitute a panel of seven persons of unquestionable integrity, to investigate the allegations of gross misconduct against the plaintiff, by the Speaker and the Imo State House of Assembly, during the pendency of suit number HOW/531/2018,” which he instituted against the Chief Judge, the Speaker and the Imo State House of Assembly, “in respect of the invalidity of the Assembly’s motion and the Speaker’s request to the Chief Judge to constitute the said panel”.
According to Madumere’s 12-paragraph affidavit, “the defendants were duly served with the originating summons and other processes in the suit on July 16, 2018, and they were aware of the pendency of the said suit.”
He equally prayed the Court to, among other things, set aside the appointment of seven persons by the Chief Judge, as members of the panel to investigate the allegations of gross misconduct made against him, by the Speaker and the State House of Assembly.
In the second suit, the Deputy Governor then sought “an order of interlocutory injunction, restraining the panel and the Speaker, from in whatsoever manner, investigating or continuing to investigate the allegations made against the plaintiff, or sitting or continuing to sit, or to inquire or continuing to inquire, or deliberate or continuing to deliberate on the aforesaid allegations of gross misconduct against the plaintiff, or make any findings or continue to make findings against the plaintiff, pending the determination of this suit.”
Another prayer before the Court is “an order restraining the Speaker and Imo State House of Assembly, from in whatsoever manner, receiving or accepting or acting on any report presented by the second to eight defendants, pending the determination of this suit.”
Vanguard recalls that Madumere attached a 17-paragraph affidavit in support of the motion for interlocutory injunction.