Edo State High court sitting in Benin City has nullified the removal’ of Esan West Local Government Council Chairman, Mr. Patrick Aguinede by the State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki.
Aguinede was suspended indefinitely in October 2019 for alleged corruption.
Delivering judgement in a suit No. B/11/2020 on Friday, Justice Daniel Okungbowa, described Aguinede removal as ‘unlawful’ and ordered the reinstatement of Mr. Patrick as the duly elected Chairman of the Council immediately.
The court granted all the prayers contained in the unchallenged originating Summons filed on behalf of Hon. Patrick Aguinede and by the Law firm of West-Idahosa & Co., and held that the Edo State Governor and the Government failed to comply with the Provisions of Sections 20 and 21 of Edo State Local Government Law, 2000 (as amended).
The judge stated that the respondents in the suit, failed to consult with the Edo State House of Assembly and the grounds of suspension as provided by Law before suspending Mr. Patrick Aguinede.
It also held that the 1st-4th defendants in the suit, abandon their notice of preliminary objection, challenging the jurisdiction of the court on for filling it in High court by hanging on the adventure that the suit, ought to have been filed at the National industrial court, but was not raised by their Counsel at the hearing before they abandoned the case.
Justice Okungbowa said the suspension of Mr. Aguinede was void in law, making every other action predicated on it invalid.
In the light of the above, the court thereafter awarded the sum of N200, 000.00 as costs in favour of Hon. Patrick Aguinede.
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