Ortom vs Ikyange: Aug. 15 is judgement day
By Onyeje Abutu
A Makurdi High Court on Thursday fixed Aug.15, to rule on a preliminary objection filed by impeached Speaker, Benue House of Assembly, Mr Terkimbi Ikyange, challenging the competence of a suit filed by Gov. Samuel Ortom.
Ortom had dragged Ikyange and seven others to court to halt their alleged move to impeach him.
Justice Theresa Igoche fixed the date after listening to the arguments from counsel to the parties on whether the court has the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
Joined as defendants in Ortom’s suit are the Police and other federal security agencies.
Counsel to the impeached speaker, Mike Usman (SAN), argued that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
Usman, who cited Section 251 of the Constitution, said that only the Federal High Court had the jurisdiction to hear the case since the plaintiff joined federal agencies in the matter.
Counsel to the plaintiff, Sabastine Hon (SAN), who cited Order 39(1) sub (3) insisted that he had seven days to respond to the preliminary objection filed by the impeached speaker.
He, therefore, prayed the court for adjournment to enable him file his reply which the court obliged and fixed the matter for Aug.15 for ruling on the application.
NAN recalls that the lawmakers, five of whom were principal officers, were impeached by 22 other members for highhandedness.
The impeached lawmakers later passed a motion of impeachment against the governor and also gave him a 7-day impeachment notice.