The Supreme Court has ordered the immediate reinstatement of Deputy Governor of Taraba State, Alhaji Sanni Danladi, who was impeached by the state House of Assembly in October 2012.
In a unanimous judgment, the Supreme Court held that the impeachment panel set up by the House of Assembly to investigate the allegations against Danladi violated his rights to fair hearing.
The impeachment panel was said to have gone ahead with its proceedings without hearing Danladi and recommended his impeachment, while the panel snubbed his court papers which he served on it to challenge its composition.
Justice Sylvester Ngwuta who delivered the lead judgment held that there seemed to be conspiracy between both the Taraba State High Court and the “kangaroo” impeachment panel to frustrate the appellant.
He held that set aside the judgments of both the Court of Appeal and the Taraba State High Court, which had dismissed Danaladi’s suit.
The apex court held that the two lower courts ought to have resolved the issue of fair hearing in favour of Danladi.
Danladi was impeached about a month before the governor of the state, Dambaba Suntai, was involved in an air accident.
Garba Umar, who was appointed to replace Danladi, was later elevated as the acting governor, following Suntai’s ill health that resulted from the crash.