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Impeachment Saga In Nasarawa, Politically Motivated – Lawyer

Channels Television  
Updated July 20, 2014

Tanko Al-makuraA Nigerian lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, says the process of  the impeachment of Governor Tanko Al-makura that the lawmakers in the Nasarawa State House of Assembly has started  has a “coloration of a fight against corrupt practices in government but in substance a tool for political intimidation and vendetta.

On Channels Television political programme, Politics Today, Mr Ogunye expressed worries that the impeachment was not what it appeared, describing it as a ploy to harass and intimidate political opposition.

On the legality of the process, he said that Section 188 of the constitution provided for impeachment as it relates to the office of the president and the governor.

“The constitution provided for the process and it requires just two-third of the members to initiate the process,” he said on the Sunday programme, explaining that after a panel’s sitting, that gives the individual the opportunity to come and respond to the allegations against him, a report would be submitted to the House of Assembly and when the individual is found guilty of the allegations and a vote is taken, with two-third in support of the removal of the occupant of the office, the individual would be removed.

After the impeachment of the Adamawa State governor, Murtala Nyako last week, the political party he belongs to, the All Progressives Congress, said it would contest the governor’s removal in court, insisting that the process was not legitimate.

But the lawyer said that the party should have contested the process before the removal of the governor and that the court would have to decide whether the process was legitimate or not.

The lawmakers in Nasarawa State insisted that they had served the governor a notice of impeachment through the media, but an official of the state government said that the governor had not been served any notice.

Mr Ogunye explained the controversy surrounding the claim that a notice has been served, saying: “Once a notice is to be served and you have a governor trying to evade service and that notice is then put up in the media, it can be said that the governor has a constructive notice of the claims”.

“There is no point for the governor to say that until the lawmakers see him personally that is when the notice is served.

“The hide and seek game is not what the constitution says should be done,” he stressed, but maintained that the whole impeachment saga was part of a political orchestration.

“If they succeed in Nasarawa they will continue in other places where they think that impeachment should be used as a ploy to harass and intimidate political opposition,” he said.