Wednesday , November 29 2023


Fejiro Oliver

Unless there is a last minute court judgment, the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Mr Peter Onwusanya may not just be dropped as the Speaker but also kicked out from the house as a member.

This is sequel to a petition by members of Civil Liberties Movement, CLM, a Delta State based NGO for the advancement of credible democracy signed by Reginald Odey and made available to the petition which was written to the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke accused the State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan of usurping the powers of the judiciary who had earlier ruled that Onwusanya was not duly elected during the last general election.
writing, they stated that, “for emphasis, the present status of Mr. Peter Onwusanya as the Speaker of the DTHA whether as deliberate error or misguided action by some dubious persons, is directly in absolute defiance to the Judgement of the Federal Court of Appeal, Benin Division, ORS APPEAL NO CA/B/132/2011 ORS, (2014) LPELR-22191(CA) dated 30th January 2014 which dislodged the said Mr. Peter Onwusanya as a member of the DTHA.
For clarity, the decision of the Appellate Court set aside the initial ruling of Federal High Court, Asaba which gave Mr. Onwusanya seeming authority to become a member of the DTHA.  In addition, affirmed that the judgement of the Lower Court was erroneous. Specifically, according to Justice TOM SHAIBU YAKUBU who delivered the lead judgment “In the end, the appeal is allowed, on ground four of the amended notice of appeal, consequently, I need not consider the remaining issues in this appeal, since the appeal is allowed on the issue of fair hearing. See  oged orunnwo &Anor V Iheanyinchukwu Woko & 2 ors (2011) 6 SCNJ PT. 1 Page 124 at 137. Where his lordship Chukwuma- Eneh  JSC re-echoed the opinion of my lord , Uwaifo JSC in Brawal Shipping Nig. Ltd V Onwudike Co. Ltd  & Anor. (2000) 6SCNJ 508 at 512, that “it is no longer in doubt that this court demands off and admonishes, the lower courts to pronounce, as a general rule, on all issues properly placed before them for determination …”the judgment of I N BUBA J. delivered on suit no FHC/ASB//CS/41/2011 dated 14th April 2011 is set aside, in its entirety”.
We gathered that CLM had earlier written a letter to the Clerk of the Delta State House of Assembly on March 17th 2014 to correct the misdeed and reminded the State that Mr. Peter Onwusanya, a proposed nominee for Speakership of the DTHA by the PDP State leadership only became a member of the DTHA in 2011 through a default judgment by the Federal High Court, Asaba as stated in the referenced Judgement of the Federal Court of Appeal, Benin Division.
The group alleged the continued stay of Onwusanya as the Speaker is a “naked issue of imposition of an illegitimate Member of the DTHA as its Speaker which is undoubtedly a clear case of cover up with a mix of political corruption and obstruction of justice aided by some individuals and top executives of the Delta State Government. In particular, the State Governor’s position in swearing in Mr. Onwusanya as Speaker of DTHA despite the information alleged to be made available to him shines a light into this darkness”

They berated the Mr Uduaghan for interfering with the judgment of the Federal Appeal Court. “We therefore crave intervention of the Hon. Minister of Justice as the Chief Legal Officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to probe any inactivity or evasive legitimate activity in this matter especially given that on this detailed usurpation of the Judiciary, a vast array of questions remain unanswered especially on those posed in the direction of the law enforcements in Delta State including the leadership the State Police Command. Indeed, we are shocked at the silence of these authorities on those who caused, aided and abetted this serious crime”, the group wrote.
They affirmed that “this undemocratic practice of swearing in a non elected member of the DTHA as its Speaker is a tragic metaphor for Nigeria’s judiciary, law enforcement agencies and security outfits. Obviously, it portrays a lawless society where justice can be painfully killed by the sheer impunity of the Executive arm of government or some persons.
We therefore request in conformity with the laws that the Office of the Attorney General of the Federal Government of Nigeria promptly and effectively take remediation steps on this issue. Specifically, we state that the office of the Attorney General of Delta State has failed in its duty under the Nigerian constitution to act appropriately by not initiating criminal procedures against all those that refused to treat this issue of illegitimacy of Speakership of the DTHA in the way of justice including individuals involved in the cover up of these established crimes under the Nigerian Criminal law.
Finally, we wish to state categorically that the Appellate court judgement under reference supports the points made in this Petition for the promotion of democracy in Nigeria and we firmly believe that such a vital document may aid your decision to correct the impunity of both the Delta State Executive and Legislative arms over the Judiciary”, CLM noted.

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