Delta state House of Assembly speaker, Mr. Sheriff Oborevwori is in the news again, this time around slammed with a court action over the illegal appointment of the Deputy Clerk of the house in total violation of the Delta State House of Assembly Service Law of 2013.
Dragged with the speaker to the Federal High Court sitting in Asaba are the state house of Assembly and the embattled deputy clerk of the house, Mr. Otto Aghoghophia.
HardReporters could recalled that the former controversial impeached Speaker of the House, Mr. Monday Igbuya had arm twisted the leadership of the legislature to undermine laid down laws and uniliterally approved the appointment of Mr. Otto Aghoghovia as the new Deputy Clerk of the house amidst protest and overwhelming facts that he did not meet the laid down requirements.
In a suit No. FHC/ASB/C8/56/2017, the plaintiffs, Mr. Ferdinand Okoh, a lawyer and Mr. Kema Augustine Egenu are challenging the appointment of Mr. Otto Aghoghophia (3rd defendant) as Deputy Clerk of the House of Assembly by the Speaker (1st defendant) and subsequent confirmation by the House of Assembly (2nd defendant) in total violation of Section 13 (3) of the Delta state House of Assembly Service Commission law, 2013 which prescribes that the person to be appointed Deputy Clerk of Delta state House of Assembly shall not be less than 14 years working experience in the House and not below Salary Grade Level 14.
The originating summons filed by counsel to the plaintiffs, Simon Ngbakor Esq., which is seeking an order of injunction restraining the 3rd defendant from further parading himself in any manner whatsoever as the Deputy Clerk of Delta state House of Assembly is also praying the Court for an order to set aside his purported appointment and confirmation.
According to the plaintiffs, the 3rd defendant (Otto Aghoghophia), in a letter with Ref No: DTHA/SPK/SA/04/13/3, signed by Raymond Yavbieri, former Deputy Clerk of the house shows that his employment as a staff of the House of Assembly commenced on the 1st day of March, 2004 and that the 1st defendant (Speaker) and the 2nd defendant (House of Assembly) acted in error and as such must act in compliance with the provisions of the law, since they are there as representatives.
They hinted that the office of the Deputy Clerk has been vacant since 2015, leading to public outcry for the vacant position to be filled for the effective running of the Delta state House of Assembly and for the interest of the general public.
The plaintiffs argued that the 3rd defendant (Otto Aghoghophia) is unqualified, inexperienced and not competent to hold the office of the Deputy Clerk in respect of the qualification or criteria of would-be Deputy Clerk of Delta state House of Assembly and having not met the criteria as provided for in Section 13 (3) of the Delta state House of Assembly Service Commission law, 2013.
The plaintiffs therefore prayed the court to declare that the actions of the 1st defendant (Speaker) in appointing the 3rd defendant (Otto Aghoghophia) and the subsequent confirmation by the 2nd defendant (House of Assembly) as Deputy Clerk are ultra vires, illegal, null and void abinitio as same violates the clear provisions of Section 13 (3) of the Delta state House of Assembly Service Commission law, 2013.
Earlier in a letter titled, “The Appointment Of Otto Aghoghophia As The Deputy Clerk Of Delta State House Of Assembly In Breach Of Section 13 (3) Of The Delta State House Of Assembly Service Commission Law, 2013/ Call For Urgent Reversal Of Same For Overriding Public Interest” by the plaintiffs’ counsel, Ngbakor Simon Esq., addressed to the Speaker and made available to this medium , issued the speaker with a 30 day ultimatum within which to reversed the contentious appointment of Mr. Aghoghophia as Deputy Speaker which he has till date refused to adhere.
As at the time of filing this report, the leadership of the house has vehemently refused to reverse the appointment and reneged to comply with the provision of the law made by the legislature after becoming aware that the appointment and confirmation of Mr. Aghoghophia as the Deputy Clerk of the House on Tuesday, 28th March, 2017 was in breach of the same law they made.
HardReporters judiciary correspondent reports that, the hearing of the case shall commence in September as soon the court returns from its annual vacation.