Former Edo deputy governor, Shaibu, claims impeachment unlawful, alleges political motives behind removal

Philip Shaibu

Former Edo State deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, has contested the legality of his impeachment by the state House of Assembly. The impeachment followed the adoption of a report by a seven-man investigative panel appointed by the state Chief Judge to investigate allegations of misconduct against him.

The panel, chaired by Justice S.A. Omonua (retd.), probed Shaibu on charges of perjury and divulging government secrets. The investigation concluded on Friday, April 5, 2024, after Shaibu failed to attend the proceedings.

Shaibu has asserted that his removal from office was driven by his gubernatorial aspirations. Despite acknowledging his ambition, he maintains that the impeachment process lacked adherence to proper protocols and due process.

He made his position known in a video shared on his X handle on Monday.

He said, “My good people of Edo State, I thank you all for standing by me in these troubling circumstances as the deputy governor of Edo State.

“It is with a heavy heart, yet a resolute spirit, that I come before you to address the recent events that are unfolding in our dear state. I denounce in the strongest term the illegal impeachment by the Edo State House of Assembly over baseless charges.”

He added that his impeachment was an attack on democracy and a show of dictatorship.

“This is not just an attack on me as an individual but on the democracy that we hold dear.

“It is a dangerous descend into dictatorship and a threat to the foundation of our democracy. Let it be clear that this impeachment was hatched because of my ambition to contest the Edo State 2024 governorship election under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. An ambition that is a legal right to all citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

“It is a sad reality that in our political landscape, ambition is met with resistance. Those in power seek to silence opposition through illegitimate means. I have devoted my life to serving the good people of Edo state with integrity and honesty. I have worked tirelessly to improve the lives of our citizens. I have upheld the values of democracy and justice and yet in return, I am faced with baseless accusations and a blatant disregard for due process and the rule of law,” he said.

Speaking further, Shaibu described the allegations levelled against him as a move to conceal the real motive behind his impeachment.

He said, “The allegations brought against me are nothing more than a smokescreen to conceal the true motive behind this impeachment. It’s a flagrant abuse of power and a betrayal of the trust the people of Edo have placed in their elected officials.

“We refuse to stay inactive while our democratic institutions manipulate and exploit for personal gain. We will fight this injustice with every atom of strength in our veins for the sake of the people of Edo State and the future of democracy. I call upon all well-meaning citizens of Edo and indeed all Nigerians who believe in the principle of democracy and justice to stand with us in this moment of crisis.

“We cannot allow tyranny operation to take root in our society, we must resist the forces that seek to undermine our freedom and trample upon our rights.”

He, however, appealed to the judiciary to ensure justice prevails, saying, “To the members of the Edo State House of Assembly who have chosen to forsake their oath of office and partake in this charade, I say this, history will judge harshly for your betrayal of the people who elected you to represent their interests. But know this, you do not have the power to silence the voice of justice and truth.

“I call upon the judiciary and all relevant authorities to intervene and uphold the principles of justice and fairness. Let the truth prevail over lies. Let the rule of law triumph over lawlessness. I am confident that the legal system will vindicate me and expose the sham that has been orchestrated against me.”

He added that his impeachment would not deter him from fighting for the rights and freedom of Nigerians.

“I want to reaffirm my commitment to the people of Edo State to the values that bind us together as a collective. I will not be deterred or intimidated by those who seek to subvert our democracy. I will continue to fight for the rights and freedoms of Edolites by extension Nigerians that suffer oppression. I will stand firm in my resolve to seek justice.

“As we stand united in the face of tyranny and oppression, I urge all to remain calm and go about our lawful duties as good citizens and true democrats. Together, we will overcome this chapter in our history and emerge stronger and more resolute in our pursuit of freedom and justice in our society,” he added.
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