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Tuesday, 31 July 2018

IMPEACHMENT HAUNTS POLITICAL BIGWIGS AHEAD OF 2019 POLLS


More political stalwarts may catch a cold if the 2019 elections continue to blow a gale of impeachments across the landscape.
While some are already sniffing hard, others have simply succumbed to the weather’s intrigues.
Yesterday, 19 of 27 lawmakers impeached Imo State Deputy Governor Eze Madumere over alleged misconduct, replacing him with Head of Service Callistus Ekenze.
The action defied a July 30 ruling by Justice Ben Iheka of the state High Court, which restrained the legislators and the Chief Judge, Paschal Nnadi, from proceeding with the impeachment, pending hearing and determination of the matter.
Madumere had enjoined a good working relationship with Governor Rochas Okorocha. But things turned sour after he decided to succeed his principal.
Okorocha is backing his brother-in-law and Chief of Staff, Chuks Ololo, as next governor.
Also, political intrigues in Benue State took a dramatic twist yesterday as eight members of the 30-strong House of Assembly declared they would begin moves to impeach Governor Samuel Ortom.
The governor last week defected from the APC to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Terkimbi Ikyange, Speaker until he was impeached last week, told reporters in Makurdi that a notice would be served on Ortom “within seven days”.
He had rejected his own impeachment, describing it as “an act of illegality”.
He argued that it did not follow due process because the lawmakers sat while the House was on recess.
Chief Judge of Benue State, Adam Onum, last week, restrained Ikyange from parading himself as Speaker, pending the determination of a suit filed by some lawmakers.
Ikyange said the plan to remove Ortom was prompted by anger over an alleged misappropriation of N54 billion.
But the faction that impeached Ikyange described the notice as “illegal”.
The lawmakers, who were forced to use the Old Banquet Hall, Makurdi, having been denied access to the Assembly complex, said the members behind the plot did not form the required quorum.
In a motion dismissing the impeachment plan, Majority Leader of the House, Avine Agbum, insisted Ikyange has been suspended for six months and moved for the suspension of all the members who attended the session where the notice was discussed.
Reacting, Ortom said: “Eight lawmakers claim to have suspended 22 members.
Is this not laughable? It is only in a shithole country that you can do this kind of a thing.
The same members without forming a quorum claim to illegally move a motion to serve an impeachment notice on me.
This is not the Nigeria we are yearning for. This is not the kind of democracy we are talking about.”
The Kano State House of Assembly yesterday also impeached its Speaker, Alhaji Abdullahi Atta.
In his place, it re-elected Alhaji Kabiru Rurum, the immediate past Speaker impeached over allegations of corruption.
Two other Principal Officers were also removed.
The Assembly closed two months ago following threats to impeach the Speaker. But the storm quieted after intervention by the state government.
“I was not aware of what was going on at the state Assembly.
Top members of our great party informed me that the members of the House have impeached the Speaker.
As you know, there have been and there would be different interpretations to what has happened. But one thing is certain.
We, in Kano, believe in internal democracy,” said Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.
Rurum, who led a delegation of the lawmakers to Government House, Kano, expressed gratitude for the opportunity given him to yet again lead the House. He noted that the members would continue to work with the governor for the peace and progress of the state.
He assured Ganduje that there would be no defection by the members and that efforts were being made to win over six members belonging to the Kwankwansiyya group.

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