Impeachment: Zamfara Deputy Gov Asks State Assembly To Respect Court Order

Deputy Governor of Zamfara State, Mahdi Aliyu.

 

Zamfara State Deputy Governor, Mahdi Aliyu, has asked the State House of Assembly to obey the court order which restrained the parliament from impeaching him.

The House had earlier invited the deputy governor to appear before it in person on July 27, a move the deputy governor did not honour.

Similarly on Tuesday, the parliament issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the deputy governor appear before it over allegations of official misconduct levelled against him.

The invitation is unconnected with a recently conducted political rally on July 10, amid banditry attacks on Maradun communities within the same period under review.

But addressing reporters in Gusau on Thursday, Aliyu raised an alarm that despite the court order, the lawmakers went ahead by scheduling sitting to proceed with impeachment proceedings, thereby disobeying the directive of the court.

He said he is constrained to draw the attention of the public to what he described as an ugly situation, hoping that well-meaning citizens will call the state lawmakers to order and help them appreciate the need to obey subsisting court order.

“You will recall that the Federal High Court has granted an order directing the maintenance of the status quo ante bellum by the Court on the 19th day of July 2021. The Court Order was served on the Chief Judge of Zamfara State, Zamfara State House of Assembly, and the Governor of Zamfara State,” he said.

“Notwithstanding the service of the said Court Order, Mr Emmanuel C. Ukala SAN and Distinguished Life Bencher wrote a letter to the Honourable Speaker of the Zamfara State House of Assembly drawing the attention of the Speaker and the House of Assembly to the Court Order and the Suit no.  FHC/ABJ/CS/650/2021: PDP vs. INEC & 5 Others challenging the vires of the Zamfara State House of Assembly, as presently constituted, to commence impeachment or any other proceedings against the Deputy Governor of Zamfara State, elected on the platform of the PDP.

“Despite the foregoing state of affairs, the Speaker of the Zamfara State House of Assembly and the House of Assembly have now embarked on steps and actions, to over-reach the pending suit, disobey the order of the court and render the effect of the suit nugatory by scheduling a sitting to proceed with impeachment proceedings on Thursday 29th July 2021 (today) against i the Deputy Governor of Zamfara State.

“I am of the honest view that action will be improper, indecorous, in appropriate and unlawful as it constitutes disobedience to court order and will be tantamount to a flagrant breach of the law as enunciated in a host of Supreme Court Cases such as the Supreme Court cases of Vaswani v Savallakh [1972] (PART 2) ALL NLR 438 and Ojukwu v Governor of Lagos State [1983] 2 NWLR (PART 10) 106 and Mohammed v. Olawunmi [1993] 4 NWLR (PART 287) 254.

“These cases have laid down the principle which has become time honoured and a settled law beyond peradventure that where there is pending application pursuant to an appeal before a court, no action aimed at or capable of foisting on the court a fait accompli and render it decision nugatory should be taken or entertain.

“In fact, the parties should not engage itself in speculation by concluding or assuming that the application before the Court will fail because an action before a court is the civilised way of enforcement and maintenance of legal rights and a person that take that course of action should not be silenced or forced to abandon or renounce his right to complain.

“I am constrained to draw the attention of the public this ugly situation in the matter in the hope that well-meaning citizens and people of goodwill will call the House of Assembly of Zamfara State to order and impress upon them the need to obey the subsisting order of the court and respect the judicial process to exercise restraint and await the outcome.”

Senate Minority Leader Warns Against Stifling Free Speech

File photo of Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe

 

The Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe has warned state houses of assembly not to stifle opposition voices, particularly the recent actions of cowing minority leaders in their midst.

Abaribe in a statement released in Abuja by his spokesman, Uchenna Awom on Monday, bemoaned recent happenings in some state assemblies in the country, where minority leaders and opposition party members are hounded as perceived enemies in the performance of their statutory and democratic functions of clear oversight on the executive.

He described as worrisome the recent occurrence in Imo State House of Assembly where the Minority Leader and some other members were suspended in a manner that strongly suggests circumvention of democratic ethos.

“Democracy does not stop at the national level. It must permeate all levels of government i.e, wards, local governments, state and other democratic institutions. In all of these, everybody must enjoy of expression and association as guaranteed by our constitution,” Abaribe said.

“So, it is undemocratic and smirks of dictatorship, any attempt by anybody, particularly a parliament for that matter to abhor minority functions and stifle opposition voices, just because you want to pander to executive whims.

“It is reprehensible to even contemplate suspension of a minority leader because he questions the executive on things that seem to be antithetical to democratic norms.”

The Minority Leader, therefore, advised the State Assemblies to always see every party represented on the floor as partners in progress, whose viewpoints are all geared towards achieving good governance.

He added, “Without dissenting opinions, democracy loses its kernel. The essence of liberal democracy is the accommodation of different viewpoints, which is warehoused in the interplay of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary independently in the political system.”

Ondo Assembly Passes Anti-Grazing Bill, Two Others

(File Photo) The Ondo State House of Assembly.

 

The Ondo State House of Assembly on Friday passed a bill to regulate security, rearing and grazing of livestock and establishment of ranches.

The Chairman House Committee on Agriculture, Honourable Taofeek Oladele observed that the bill when passed into law will prevent the destruction of farm crops in the state.

Oladele noted that the law will address clashes between herders and farmers, enhance the growth of livestock farming, prevent control and manage the spread of diseases and as well encourage modern techniques of animal husbandry.

After a thorough debate on the bill, it was considered necessary for approval and the Speaker, Rt. Honourable Bamidele Oleyeloogun ruled in favour of the bill after a voice vote.

The lawmakers also passed two other bills into law: the judicial autonomy bill as well as the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) bill.

Former Ondo Assembly Minority Leader Dies In Auto Crash

(File Photo) The Ondo State House of Assembly.

 

A former Minority Leader of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Lubi Akpoebi has died in a road accident.

A former political associate of the late lawmaker who preferred to be anonymous who confirmed the incident to Channels Television on telephone revealed that the accident occurred at Owena, along the Akure/Ondo Highway on Tuesday afternoon.

The source disclosed that the deceased was coming from his hometown in Ese-Odo to Akure, driving alone in the vehicle when the accident happened.

The deceased who is of the Ijaw extraction represented Ese-Odo Constituency at the state assembly. He also held sway as Caretaker Chairman of Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State.

READ ALSO: Captain Of Boat Which Capsised Killing 13 To Know Fate On Monday

Late Akpoebi also served under the administration of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu during the first term as Special Assistant on Niger Delta Affairs, but he resigned his appointment in 2020.

He was also Special Adviser to Senator representing Ondo South, Nicholas Tofowomo on Strategy and Special Interest.

Police Recover Stolen Ogun Assembly Mace In Lagos

 

The police authorities in Lagos have recovered a stolen mace from the Ogun State House of Assembly, Abeokuta.

In a statement issued on Friday by the Police Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the mace was retrieved at Abule Ado area of the state by operatives attached to the Trade Fair Section.

“The police operatives attached to Trade Fair Station of the Lagos State Police Command today Friday 11th December 2020, recovered the missing mace of the Ogun State House of Assembly at Abule Ado Area of the state at about 8.30 am,” the statement partly read.

“The police operatives, who were responsive, worked on intelligence from the members of the community that someone in a moving vehicle, suspected to be Toyota Siena Space Wagon, threw out an object into the nearby bush and recovered the object which was later identified to be the Ogun State House of Assembly Mace.

 

“The mace had been allegedly stolen from the House of Assembly complex, Ogun State recently. It has been handed over to the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, who later instructed the DCP State CID, Lagos State, Yetunde Longe, to protect the mace and liaise with the Ogun State Police Command on the return of the recovered mace to Ogun State.”

The Lagos police boss also pledged to work with the Ogun State Police Command in the investigation into the incident that led to the recovery of the mace.

READ ALSO: Hoodlums Attack Ogun Assembly, Steal Mace

This comes 24 hours after some hoodlums broke into the Ogun Assembly complex and carted away the mace which the official symbol of authority.

Following the incident, the police cordoned the assembly building which is located a few metres away from the Governor’s Office complex.

Court Reinstates Three Suspended Ondo Assembly Members

(File Photo) The Ondo State House of Assembly.

 

An Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure has reinstated the Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Iroju Ogundeji and two other lawmakers.

The affected lawmakers were recently suspended by the leadership of the House over alleged misconduct.

Apart from reinstating the lawmakers, the court also ordered the House to immediately pay all their entitlements with a sum of N5 million compensation to each of them.

In his ruling, the presiding judge, Justice Ademola Bola insisted that it was illegal to prevent an elected legislator from duly representing his or her constituency.

According to Justice Bola, the suspension of the lawmakers violated sections 90, 91, 106 and 117 of the 1999 constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Deputy Speaker and the other two suspended lawmakers were among nine members of the House who declined to sign the impeachment notice of the Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi two months ago, after the latter defected from the All Progressives Congress to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

READ ALSO: Ondo Assembly Suspends Deputy Speaker, One Other

Following their suspension, the lawmakers through their lawyer, Banjo Ayelakin, approached the court to challenge what he described as their unlawful suspension by the parliament.

The suit has the House of Assembly, the Speaker, the Majority Leader, the Deputy Majority Leader, the Parliamentary Secretary, and the Clerk of the House as defendants.

Justice Bola in the verdict ruled that the suspension of the Lawmakers violates sections 90, 91, 106 and 117 of the 1999 constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria.

This comes a month after the lawmakers were suspended over an alleged unruly behaviour.

Edo Assembly Crisis: Malami Has Shown His Political Bias, Abused The Law – Obaseki

A member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Don-Pedro Obaseki, has reacted to the crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly.

Obaseki, who spoke on Monday during Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, accused the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami of abusing the law.

According to him, Malami’s response to the crisis engulfing the Edo parliament has revealed what side of the political divide he is supporting.

“I will state clearly that Mr. Malami has shown himself as a law officer, as a most-partisan one who decides to speak depending on what part of the (political) party divide he is on. What he has done is a flagrant abuse of the law,” he said.

He also accused the newly sworn-in members of the assembly of forging a mace used during their inauguration.

READ ALSO: Drama As Men Smash Mace, Destroy Property At Edo Assembly

While noting that the original mace is with the Speaker of the House, Francis Okiye, the PDP member described the situation as treasonable.

 

17 APC Lawmakers in Edo claimed to have impeached the State House of Assembly Speaker on August 6, 2020.

 

Obaseki, therefore, called for the arrest of the 14 members of the House for allegedly forging a mace during their swearing-in.

“They have gone to forge a mace. When you forge a mace, you are forcefully taking over a part of the government.

“That is treasonable. The original mace still lies with the Speaker, Mr Okiye. The Department of State Service should go and arrest them. They are a threat to the state,” he said.

PDP member, Don-Pedro Obaseki accuses the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, of flouting the law with respect to the crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly.

 

Speaking further, he explained that the House of Assembly is only proclaimed once and that has already been done earlier by Governor Godwin Obaseki.

His remarks come days after some unknown persons invaded the Edo Assembly and climbed the roof of the complex where they removed the mace.

Shortly after, 17 lawmakers, including 14 members whose seats have been previously declared vacant, claim that they have impeached the Speaker of the House, Okiye, and his deputy, Roland Asoro.

Edo Assembly Crisis: Obaseki Has Resorted To Tactics Of Dictators – Tinubu

NASS Leadership: Why I Am Backing Buhari, APC’s Position – Tinubu
A file photo of APC stalwart, Bola Tinubu. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has broken his silence on the crisis engulfing the Edo State House of Assembly.

In a statement he personally signed on Friday, Tinubu said Governor Godwin Obaseki has now resorted to the strong-arm tactics of dictators.

He said after denying elected members of the house of assembly from being inaugurated for over a year, the governor allegedly mobilised thugs to frustrate their inauguration.

While noting that Obaseki committed an impeachable offence by not inaugurating the assembly members timely, the APC leader said the lawmakers have not indicated an interest in removing him from office.

“The recent actions of the Governor of Edo State represent the gravest possible assault on constitutional democracy and the rule of law and escalation of violence and tension in the state he purports to govern,” Tinubu said.

“Not satisfied with making a mockery of our constitution by blocking the timely inauguration of two-thirds of the elected members of the Edo State House of Assembly, Governor Obaseki has now resorted to the strong-arm tactics of dictators.

READ ALSO: Drama As Men Smash Mace, Destroy Property At Edo Assembly

“First, he sponsors hoodlums to deface, indeed destroy, parts of the House of Assembly Building in Benin, feigning the building is undergoing renovation. Then, he imports sand and gravels to prevent access to the assembly complex. In effect, the man has spent state funds to thwart the very apparatus of the state government he was sworn to uphold. He has squandered public money to defeat the very will of the public. This is tragic beyond words.

“As a pretext for his refusal to allow the Edo House of Assembly to function, Governor Obaseki’s actions are perverse. This is a cowardly act and a move to thwart representative democracy in Edo. No renovation has been planned for the statehouse building. No appropriation was made in the state’s budget. The only reason any renovation could be deemed necessary is the destruction wrought by his own goons.

“Governor Obaseki’s governance of Edo State recalls the worst excesses of our military past and represents a direct threat to the democratic order. By his refusal to permit duly elected members of the Edo State House of Assembly to perform their constitutional duties, Governor Obaseki betrayed contempt for the people of his state and, unfortunately, his ignorance of Nigeria’s constitutional order. As a Governor he ought to know better than to obstruct the functioning of his own legislature, but perhaps he is in need of a quick lesson.”

His reaction comes shortly after some unknown persons stormed the assembly, climbed the roof of the complex and removed the mace.

Ondo Assembly Suspends Another Lawmaker

The lawmaker representing Ondo West Constituency 1, Leonard Akinribido

 

The Ondo State House of Assembly has suspended another member, Leonard Akinribido, representing Ondo West Constituency 1 in the House.

He is the only member of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) in the House.

Akinrobido was suspended over gross misconduct and the use of vulgar words in the hallowed chamber.

Three members of the House, including the Deputy Speaker, Iroju Ogundeji were suspended last month for the same offence.

The Lawmaker was ordered to avoid coming to the premises of the House of Assembly while the suspension lasts.

READ ALSO: Ondo Deputy Governor, Ajayi Boycotts PDP Congress

Meanwhile, the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Agboola Ajayi, on Tuesday, shunned the congress of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Although Ajayi shunned the congress, there are reports that the deputy-governor plans leaving the party.

Channels Television learned he plans to contest the October 10 governorship election under the platform of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP)

This comes two weeks after he failed to clinch the party’s ticket, having lost to Eyitayo Jegede.

Ondo Assembly Suspends Deputy Speaker, One Other

 

The Ondo State House of Assembly has suspended the Deputy Speaker, Iroju Ogundeji, and another member, Adewale Williams.

The duo were suspended over an alleged unruly behaviour.

Meanwhile, the Majority Leader of the House, Jamiu Maito has resigned his appointment.

The resignation letter was read on the floor of the house on Wednesday by the Clerk of the House, Bode Adeyelu.

READ ALSO: Ondo Assembly Serves Impeachment Notice To Deputy Governor

The three lawmakers were part of the nine members of the House that are opposed to the impeachment notice served on the Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi yesterday.

14 members of the House signed the impeachment notice served on the deputy governor, including the Speaker, Bamidele Oleyeloogun.

Cross River Assembly Member Dies

 

A member of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Godwin Akwaji, is dead.

Sources at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital confirmed the death of the lawmaker to Channels Television on Thursday.

Akwaji, who represented Obudu State Constituency, died at the hospital in the state capital two weeks after he was admitted.

However, the cause of his death has yet to be ascertained.

The late lawmaker was elected into the House in 2019.

Nasarawa Assembly Inaugurates Committee To Investigate N1bn School Projects

Speaker of the Nasarawa House of Assembly, Ibrahim Balarable

 

The Nasarawa State House of Assembly, has inaugurated an Ad hoc committee to investigate secondary schools renovation contract awarded in 2018.

This comes two years after the State Ministry of Education spent N1billion to renovate secondary schools across the state.

Speaker of the House of Assembly, Ibrahim Balarable set up the committee on Tuesday when the Secretary to the State Government, Ahmed Tijjani and the Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Fati Sabo appeared before the House.

Balarabe explained that their invitation was to explain their roles in the utilisation of the fund approved and released for the project which according to him has been abandoned.

The Speaker noted that the invitation of the SSG and the Commissioner was not to witch hunt them but to ensure that the right thing is done for the purpose of accountability and good governance.

READ ALSO: Reps Reject Bill To Establish Civil Societies Regulatory Commission

“After listening to the SSG, who was a former Commissioner for Education when the contract was awarded in 2018 without completion up till this moment.

“It is in view of this that we are setting up an Ad hoc committee to investigate the projects in the interest of our children and overall development of the state.

“The committee include the Chairman and members of the House Committee on Education, Chairmen of House Committees on Finance, Public Account and Works respectively.

“I urge the committee to do a thorough job as it is sad and unfortunate that our children in some secondary schools are learning under the trees, the Speaker said.

In his reaction, the SSG admitted that the sum was released in November 2018 by the government to the Ministry of Education for the renovation of schools.

“Yes, the renovation work is ongoing as the contract was given in 2018 when I was a commissioner for Education,” he said.

Speaking also, the Commissioner for Education revealed that N84million was given to the ministry when she assumed office in 2019 to pay contractors for the same projects.