‘It Doesn’t Make Any Sense,’ Governor Ortom Reacts To Impeachment Plot

Governor Samuel Ortom addressing journalists on Monday, July 30.


Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has reacted to the plot by some All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers in the Benue State House of Assembly to impeach him.

The governor told journalists on Monday that the impeachment plot does not make sense.

Governor Ortom is surprised that Mr Terkimbi Ikyange, who was on Tuesday last week impeached as Speaker by 22 out of the 30 members of the Assembly, led seven other APC members to hold plenary on Monday despite a court order restraining him from parading himself as Speaker.

“The impeached Speaker and other principal officers paraded themselves in disobedience of the Benue High Court order that they should not do so until the substantive matter was heard,” the governor said.

“They sat illegally without the clerk of the House or his deputy. 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.

“It doesn’t make any sense, it doesn’t mean anything. We are learned people, we have read the constitution, we know the provisions.”

Governor Ortom called on patriotic Nigerians and the people of Benue to rise and resist the action of the APC lawmakers which he described as ‘impunity and rape of democracy.’

“This is not the Nigeria we are yearning for. This is not the kind of democracy we are talking about,” the governor added.

The impeached Speaker of the Benue State Assembly, Terkimbi Ikyange, had earlier on Monday led his colleagues, under heavy police protection into the House.

The police officers blocked the entrance to the Assembly complex and also barred journalists from covering the plenary.

Ikyange told journalists after the plenary, that the APC lawmakers are moving to impeach Governor Ortom over alleged diversion of state funds and abuse of office.

Buhari, APC House Of Reps Members To Meet On Monday

Muhammadu-Buhari-Obama-visitPresident Muhammadu Buhari will on Monday hold a meeting with members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the House of Representatives.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, confirmed the proposed meeting to reporters on Sunday.

According to Mr Shehu, the meeting will hold by 5:00pm at the new Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

There has been internal wrangling in the House of Representatives over the choice of its principal officers and efforts to resolve the issue have so far not yielded remarkable result.

On Saturday, some members of the APC, who are opposing the choice of the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, said they had decided to accept the Speaker’s proposed list of principal officers.

Although the agenda of the meeting was not made known to reporters, there are speculations that the controversy in the choice of principal officers would be addressed.

Saraki’s Leadership: APC Members Displeased With Party’s Endorsement

APC on Saraki's Senate LeadershipSome Governors and lawmakers elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have expressed dissatisfaction with the party’s decision to forgive and allow the Senator Bukola Saraki-led leadership of the National Assembly to stand.

The National Chairman of the party, Mr John Oyegun, had earlier declared the party’s support for both Senator Saraki and Mr Yakubu Dogara as Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives respectively.

In an interview with Channels Television on Saturday, one of the pro-Lawan Senators, Abdullahi Adamu, said that his faction, the Unity Forum, would take a position on the party’s endorsement of Senator Saraki’s leadership.

Senator Adamu made the declaration in Lafia, the Nasarawa State’s capital in north-central Nigeria during the wedding of Governor Tanko Al-makura’s daughter.

Also addressing reporters at the wedding ceremony, Governor Al-makura believed that, in spite of the APC lawmakers differences, the party was harmonising all interest to help it move forward with its programmes of uplifting the country, as promised in their campaigns.

Al-makura further noted that the decision demonstrated that the APC had the capacity to withstand pressure, hopeful that the party would come out stronger after a meeting of the stakeholders aimed at dousing the tension.

Lawmakers’ Absence Was To Respect Party And Buhari’s Call – SSA

garba shehuThe Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu says that the 51 lawmakers of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that were absent during the election of the Senate President chose to respect the call of the party and the President.

It was recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday called for a 9.00am peace meeting to resolve the in-house crisis and address APC House members-elect and Senators-elect.

Mr. Shehu explained that President Buhari was on his way to the meeting when he was notified that there was an election taking place already, he noted that the key candidates were also notified including the Clerk of the National Assembly, they were all informed of the meeting with the President and the party members.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Mr. Shehu said that the party had started a process of choosing the leaders from the previous night and the process was already complete.

Shehu also said that the reason why the meeting was held on Tuesday morning was because President Buhari had been out of the country attending the G7 event, and “could not be present in two places at the same time”.

He also explained that the President’s congratulatory message to the new Senate President and House of Rep. Speaker is a way of not interfering in the affairs of the National Assembly.

Fayose Impeachment: Court Fixes June 5 For Suit Challenging Jurisdiction

FayoseA Federal High Court in Abuja has reserved ruling till June 5 to decide whether it has jurisdiction in a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party faction of the Ekiti State House of Assembly challenging the planned impeachment of Governor Ayo Fayose.

Lawyer to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Ekiti State House of Assembly had challenged the jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit on the grounds that it is an abuse of court process.

At the resumed hearing of the suit, the All Progressives Congress (APC) questioned the jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit because a similar suit had been filled in another court as such it would amount to an abuse of court processes.

However, the lawyer to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who opposed the application, asked the court to alternatively transfer the case to the Ekiti State division of the Federal High Court so that all the parties can have their day in court.

When asked if the case would not be futile because the seventh assembly is winding down already, Counsel to APC, Terrence Vembe, said that the legislators are free to go ahead with the case.

“We are concerned with what is going on in court here. I’m not in Ekiti, I’ve not been there for a very long time. I only know about what is going on in the court.

“The legislators are very free as air to go ahead with what they are doing (because) in the first place they are not under any obligation to obey an order of a court that does not have jurisdiction.”

However, Counsel to the PDP, Ahmed Raji, was of the view that once the new parliament comes in they may have to reconsider their stance as to whether or not to go on with the matter.

“The whole idea is to forestall an illegal impeachment, an unconstitutional impeachment, an unlawful one for that matter.

“If that threat is no longer there, the rightful thing to do is to discontinue the suit,” he said.

For now, observers are watching the outcome of this and similar suits which bothered on the impeachment of Governor Ayo Fayose.

Fayose Says Plan To Impeach Him Is Illegal

fayoseThe Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, has said that the attempt of the 19 All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers to impeach him is illegal and will result into flouting a subsiding court order which has asked parties to maintain status quo.

The Governor stated this while speaking to journalists in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.

According to the embattled governor, all efforts to pacify the APC lawmakers in sheathing their swords have been defied after having a meeting with them in Akure.

The Governor said that he has paid the lawmakers’ entitlements and salary areas as agreed, but they have failed to keep to the truce which was called.

Governor Fayose also said that any attempt by the lawmakers to storm the state over any impeachment may unsettle the peace in the state.

Meanwhile, all attempts made by Channels Television to reach the lawmakers proved abortive.

In April, the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by the APC, challenging the eligibility and election of Fayose for lack of merit.

Ekiti APC Lawmakers Discontinue Suit Against Fayose

fayose-The 19 members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, under the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC), have filed a notice of discontinuance of a suit they instituted against Governor Ayo Fayose at the Federal High Court in Lagos.

The lawmakers had filed the suit against the State Governor and others, to challenge the purported impeachment of Hon. Adewale Omirin as Speaker, and running of the House by only seven members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The APC lawmakers were alleged to had earlier fled the state after Hon Omirin’s impeachment, but were directed by the party to return after the March 28 Presidential elections.

A copy of the notice of discontinuance which was signed by the 19 lawmakers was obtained on Thursday by Channels TV’s judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele.

In the suit, the APC lawmakers had specifically argued that by the provision of the constitution, the 7 PDP lawmakers lacked the legal right to take decisions on behalf of the House.

The plaintiffs had also asked the court to declare that Hon Omirin and his deputy are entitled to occupy their offices, except removed by two-third majority votes of the assembly.

The lawmakers also sought a declaration that Governor Fayose’s alleged attempt to force them to join the PDP and denounce the APC is against their constitutional rights to freedom of association.

They then asked the court to hold that the election of the PDP’s Dele Olugbemi as Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly was illegal, saying all deliberations and actions of the seven lawmakers were invalid.

Meanwhile, Governor Fayose, in a preliminary objection filed by three of his commissioners, asked the court for an order striking out or dismissing the suit in its entirety, for lack of jurisdiction.

Group Urges Buhari To Call Ekiti APC Members To Order

 Buhari The President-Elect, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), has been urged to call the members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State to order over their seeming desperation for power to avoid instability in the state.

The call was made by an Abuja-based group, the Society for Rule of Law in Nigeria (SRLN) in a statement issued on Thursday and signed by its National Co-ordinator, Dr Chima Ubeku.

The group said that the APC should stop behaving like bad losers and emulate President Goodluck Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

It explained: “Fayose won an election, likewise General Muhammadu Buhari. If President Jonathan conceded defeat and PDP is not doing anything untoward against Buhari’s victory, why can’t the APC toe the same line in respect of the Ekiti election?

“Why is it that the APC that won the presidential election is fomenting trouble and trying to cause instability in Ekiti?”.

On the State Assembly crisis, the group said; “Since it was the APC lawmakers that went to court, they should allow the court to adjudicate instead of taking actions capable of overreaching the court.”

The group, which commended President Jonathan for acting like a statesman, added that; “Buhari should reciprocate by calling members of his party to order so that they don’t cause anarchy in Ekiti and other states not controlled by the APC.”

Edo PDP Lawmakers Set To Resume, Deny Signing Impeachment Notice

pdp_logo_edoThe People’s Democratic Party (PDP), lawmakers in the Edo State House of Assembly on Thursday vowed to resume sitting at the Edo State House of Assembly premises on Monday.

The Edo State PDP Chairman,  Mr Dan Orbih, who revealed this on Thursday at a press briefing attended by PDP lawmakers and top leaders of the party said the APC lawmakers did not meet the required two third majority to impeach the Deputy Speaker and condemned the plenary in the Government House.

Responding to the impeachment of the deputy Speaker, Mr Orbih said their faction will resume sitting on Monday as they do not agree that the Deputy Speaker has been impeached.

Abdulrazak Momoh, one of the PDP lawmakers who purportedly signed the impeachment notice, said his signature was forged.

The Party also received two current serving appointees in the Edo State Government who resigned their appointment to join the PDP.

Prince Osama Erediauwa , the sixth son of the Benin Monarch, Oba Erediauwa, who was the Executive Director of Edo State Government resigned his appointment and defected to the PDP.

“Thank you for welcoming me to the party. I just tendered my resignation. I decided to embrace change to work and take over the state” he said after the defection insisting that “we will see action as time progresses.”

Mr Orbih described the coming of Prince Osama as a big addition to the party.

The party also welcomed the SSA to the Governor on Inter Party Relations, Mr Kaskis Eke into their fold.

APC Lawmakers Seek Help From Britain In Fight Against Insurgency

george AKUMEOpposition lawmakers from the All Progressive Congress (APC) have sought the assistance of the British government to tackle terrorism in Nigeria.

The Senate Minority leader, George Akume, made the call when the APC caucus of the National assembly hosted Britain’s former Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw.

Akume, who attributed the cause of insecurity in the country to corruption and lack of transparency in the polity, accused the government of failing in its primary duty of protecting the citizens of Nigeria.

In his response, the former British Foreign Secretary said promoting transparency in governance and putting in place corrupt free courts to handle corruption related cases, would go a long way in reducing corruption in the country.

Nigeria has been battling the Boko Haram insurgency, which is prevalent in the Northern region, since 2009.