Edo State Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu has said he became an enemy of Governor Godwin Obaseki for refusing to drop his ambition to contest the 2023 governorship of the state on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
He added that Obaseki alleged at one of the meetings between them that he was dinning with his enemies.
Shuaibu added that Obaseki also insisted that the only way their relationship can come back to what it used to be was for him to renounce his interest in governorship of the state publicly.
The Deputy Governor said the animosity between him and the Governor had persisted despite intervention by eminent people in the state, including the Oba of Benin.
He added that Obaseki has vowed to use all the machinery available as a state governor to sack him as the deputy governor of the state.
The embattled Edo deputy governor said this while seeking protection of the court against alleged plan to remove him from office in the supporting affidavit to the originating summons he filed at Federal High Court, Abuja.
The defendants are the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the State Security Service (SSS), Obaseki, the Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly and the Chief Judge of Edo State.
Shaibu said Obaseki began to deny him the opportunity to function in his official capacity, including threat to withdraw his security details immediately after he declared his governorship ambition sometimes this year.
He said the actions against him by Obaseki include denying him the opportunity of attending meetings with the governor and the state executive council while his responsibilities were also been taken away by the Governor.
Shaibu said on 13th July, 2023, a circular (letter) emanated from the Office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) to all MDAs to deal with Governor Obaseki directly in matters of Internally Generated Revenue, a responsibility which used to come through his office.
He also noted that he was kept out of 17th July 2023 meetings held by the Governor with bankers, tech partners, EIRS and Edo-GIS even though he was initially invited.
“Before the appointed time at the Exco Chambers, all the named persons and bodies, including the Deputy Governor and the SSG, were all seated.
“The said meeting for 11:00am at the State Executive Council Chambers however never held as the 3rd defendant did not come to the Chambers for the meeting, but the attendees, except the Deputy Governor, were invited into the Governor’s Office by the Chief of Staff to Mr. Governor for discussion and dispersed from there.
“Since that day, the Office of the Deputy Governor has not been receiving any schedule of the meetings and events of the 3rd defendant, contrary to the existing practice and procedure in Government House.
“On Wednesday, 19th July, 2023 it was when briefs for the State Executive Council Meetings were forwarded to my (Personal Private Secretary) that I knew that there would be Exco meeting that day at 11:00am for the meeting at 10:00am as no schedule of Mr, Governor was sent to my office as it used to be.
“On Friday, 21st July, 2023 at about 3:45pm, I was going for an engagement outside the office when my Protocol Officer called the Chief Detail to inform him that there was going to be Security Meeting at 4:00pm as I saw Security Officers and Commanders in the Government House premises which placed me on enquiry and I got to know of it.
“On 15th June, 2023, I was informed that there was going to be a meeting in the 3rd defendant’s house to determine the leadership of the House of Assembly, but when I got to the gate of the 3rd defendant’s house, the State Security personnel informed me that I was not invited to the meeting and would not be allowed into the meeting.
“I called the 3rd defendant over eight times on the phone, but he refused to pick my calls.
“The following day, the 16th of June, 2023 when I was to go to the Governor’s office, I met the gate between the two offices locked and on enquiry, the DSS personnel from the Governor’s office told my DSS personnel that they were under instruction from the 3rd defendant not to allow me in or open the gate for me.
“While trying to know what happened, there was a meeting at the instance of the former Deputy Governor, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe, between the 3rd defendant, myself and Chief Mike Oghiadomhe.
“At the meeting the 3rd defendant alleged that the reasons for his actions were that I was dinning with his enemies and that the only way our relationship can come back to what it used to be was for me to go to the public space (media) to renounce my interest for Governorship of the state.
“In spite of the intervention of well-meaning stakeholders in Edo State, including the Oba of Benin, the 3rd defendant is hell bent on dealing with me and has vowed to use all machineries in his power to remove me from office as the Deputy Governor of Edo State.
“The 3rd defendant has been holding meetings with key actors and players in Edo State Government, including the 4th defendant (Speaker) and other members of the Edo State House of Assembly, with a view to coming up with spurious allegations against me and using unconstitutional means to remove me as the Deputy Governor of Edo State by way of illegal impeachment and use the 5th defendant to perfect their plans with the setting up of a seven man panel of inquiry.”
Shuaibu added that his lawyer has told him that the Governor’s alleged action of instigating the IGP and SSS and their officers “to harass, intimidate, embarrass and prevent me from attending State Executive Council Meetings and carry out my functions as the Deputy Governor of Edo State is unconstitutional.
“I have committed no constitutional infraction for the 4th and 5th defendants (Speaker and Chief Judge) to be instigated by the 3rd defendant to commence impeachment proceedings against me.
“The deliberate refusal of the 3rd defendant to involve me in the Edo State Executive Council Meetings and carry out my responsibilities as the Deputy Governor of Edo State is unconstitutional and in breach of the constitutional provisions.
“Without the intervention of the court, plans have been perfected by the 3rd defendant to deal with me as he has vowed to remove me from office through his stooges in the state by commencing impeachment proceedings against me for no justifiable reasons,” Shuaibu said.
He is then praying the court for the following:
*A declaration that the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants lack the constitutional powers to harass, intimidate, embarrass and prevent the plaintiff from carrying out his constitutional duties as the Deputy Governor of Edo State in line with Section 193 of the Constitution.
*A declaration that the 4th and 5th defendants lack the constitutional powers to remove, commence impeachment proceedings or cause to be removed from office the plaintiff as the Deputy Governor of Ede State on any ground other than gross misconduct, as provided in Section 188 of the Constitution,
*A declaration that the deliberate refusal of the 3rd defendant to invite or involve the plaintiff in the Edo State Executive Council Meetings and functions is a violation of Section 193(2) of the Constitution,
*An order of injunction restraining the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants, their agents, servants, privies and assigns from harassing, preventing , embarrassing or intimidating or causing the harassment and prevention of the plaintiff from attending Edo State Executive Council Meetings and other meetings for the purpose of carrying out his constitutional duties as the Deputy Governor of Edo State.
*An order of injunction restraining the 3rd, 4th and 5th defendants, their agents, servants, privies and assigns from embarking on any action plan or take any other step by commencement of impeachment proceedings or setting up a seven man panel of inquiry for the purpose of removing from office, the plaintiff as the Deputy Governor of Edo State on account of the 3rd defendant contrary to constitutional provisions.
*An order of injunction restraining the 5th defendant from acting on the instruction of the 3rd defendant or impeachment notice from the 4th defendant or any other person on their behalf with a view to removing from office, the plaintiff as the Deputy Governor of Edo State.
*An order of injunction restraining the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants form withdrawing the security details or personnel attached to the plaintitt or his office as the Deputy Governor of Edo State.
*An order of injunction restraining the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th defendants, their agents, servants, privies and assigns from disturbing, or preventing the plaintiff from freely entering his office or attending any executive function in Edo State or outside the state for the purpose of carrying his duties and functions as the Deputy Governor of Edo State.
*An order of mandatory injunction directing the 3rd defendant to henceforth, issue the plaintiff with notices of meetings and involve the plaintiff in carrying out state executive functions as required by the plaintiff to carry out in line with constitutional provisions.