Court voids purported suspension of Edo council chairman

An Edo State High Court sitting in Benin, has declared as illegal, the purported suspension from office of Mr Aremiyan Momoh as Chairman of Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo.

Momoh was suspended from office by Governor Godwin Obaseki over alleged corrupt practices in September 2019.

However, delivering judgement on Friday in a suit no: B/205/2019, Justice D. I. Okungbowa declared the action of the Governor as null and void and directed Momoh be reinstated to the office immediately.

The court held that the Government failed to comply with the Provisions of Sections 20 and 21 of Edo State Local Government Law, 2000 (as amended) in failing to consult with the Edo State House of Assembly as provided by Law before suspending Momoh.

The Court further held that “since the purported suspension was void in law, every other action predicated on it was invalid.” It thereafter awarded the sum of N250,000 as costs in favour of Momoh.

The Court dismissed the notice of preliminary objection filed by the State Government challenging the competence of the suit.

Similarly, the motion-filled by the State Government challenging the judgment of the Court was dismissed.

Okungbowa also granted all the prayers contained in the originating Summons filed on behalf of Momoh by the Law firm of West-Idahosa & Co.

The State governor, Godwin Obaseki had suspended the Etsako East Local Government Council, Chairman from office for a period of two months over allegations of misappropriation of funds and low revenue generation.

The suspension followed a petition signed by 10 councillors in which they had levelled several allegations of fraud against him.

‎Some the allegations claimed that Momoh had spent seven million naira on Sallah gifts as against two million naira and failure to remit N67m collected from trucks loading cement from Okpella.

The Chairman was also alleged to have spent N10m on empowerment, N36m for grading of roads, eight million naira for security during cult clashes and N16m for Christmas gifts.

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