Sunday, January 29, 2023

Appeal Court reinstates Edo Commission 13 years after, orders completion of tenure

The Court of Appeal, Benin Division on Tuesday set aside the dissolution of the Edo State Law Review Commission for the past 13 years over failure to follow due process.

The Commission was dissolved in 2008 by the administration of Governor Adams Oshiomhole.

But the court, in a unanimous judgment, ordered that members of the Commission be reinstated and allowed to complete their tenure, which should now run from March 25, 2021, the day the judgment was given, to August 25, 2025.

In the judgment delivered by the three-man panel and read by Justice Biobele Abraham Georgewill, with Justices Oyebisi Omoleye and Dr. Fredrick Oho as members, the appellate court held that the Adams Oshiomhole-led administration did not follow the laid down procedure in dissolving the commission.

The appellants, in the suit No B/375/OS/2009, were identified as: Elder Jonathan Aghimien (SAN), T. E. Ogbeide-Ihama and Edward Aigbanbe, while the Governor of Edo State, Attorney General and State House of Assembly were the respondents.

NAN reports that the appellants challenged the ruling of Justice Nogi Aifuwa Imoukhuede of state High Court in which he dismissed the claims of the appellants for being statute barred.

In his ruling, Justice Georgewill declared that “the dissolution of the Edo State Law Review Commission and consequent termination of the appointments of the Appellants on 24/11/2008, without due compliance with the provisions of the Revised Edition Law of Edo state 2001, by the 1st Respondent, the then Executive Governor of Edo State, is null, void and of no effect whatsoever.”

The court set aside the letter issued by the then Secretary to State Government on behalf of the governor, saying it was done without compliance with the provisions of the Revised Edition Law of Edo State 2001.

Georgewill said: “An order is hereby given reinstating the Appellants to their aforesaid position as Chairman and members of the Edo State Law Review Commission to serve out the remainder of their five-year tenure.

“Thereafter from the date of this judgment being 25/3/2021 to 25/8/2025 totalling five years, in line with Section 7 (1) of the Revised Edition Law 2001 of Edo State, excluding the period from 24/11/2008 to 25/3/2021, unless the Appellants are removed in line with the provision of the Revised Edition law of Edo State of Nigeria 2001.”

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