Kogi Assembly Confirms Edward Onoja As Deputy Governor

Kogi State Deputy Governor-nominee, Mr Edward Onoja, being screened by members of the State House of Assembly in Lokoja on October 21, 2019.

 

 

The Kogi State House of Assembly has confirmed Mr Edward Onoja as the deputy governor of the state.

Mr Onoja was confirmed as deputy governor on Monday after he was screened by members of the House at the legislative chamber of the Assembly complex in Lokoja, the state capital.

He is the former Chief of Staff to the state governor, Mr Yahaya Bello.

READ ALSO: Kogi Deputy Governor Impeached

Onoja’s screening and confirmation by the lawmakers came barely three days after the impeachment of the former deputy governor of the state, Mr Simon Achuba.

Mr Achuba was impeached on Friday after the House received the report of a committee set up by the State Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajana, to investigate an allegation of gross misconduct against him.

The Majority Leader of the House and lawmaker representing Ajaokuta State Constituency, Mr Hassan Abdullahi, had told reporters that committee headed by John Bayeshea submitted the report to the Speaker of the House, Mr Mathew Kolawole.

He explained that the lawmakers subsequently considered the report and took a unanimous decision to impeach Achuba.

In his reaction, Mr Achuba condemned the action of the lawmakers.

He said his impeachment was illegal and unconstitutional.

Mr Achuba was sworn in as the deputy governor on February 9, months after he defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He was, however, reported to be engulfed in a disagreement with Governor Bello, an issue which snowballed into trading blames.

In August 2019, the former deputy governor raised an alarm of an alleged threat to his life and accused his principal of intolerance of contrary views.

He also criticised the administration for non-performance, claiming that was the reason for the rift between him and Governor Bello.

In a swift reaction to the allegations, the state government in a statement slammed the impeached deputy governor, saying he had no evidence for his claims.

The statement also said the government does not train assassins and cannot be involved in sending killers after anyone.

This caught the attention of the State Assembly which announced that it had commenced impeachment proceedings against Mr Achuba for criticising the governor.

The lawmakers had, thereafter, directed the Chief Judge in the state to set up a committee to proceed with the impeachment of Mr Achuba.

Kogi Assembly Screens Deputy Governor-Nominee, Edward Onoja

Kogi State Deputy Governor-nominee, Mr Edward Onoja, being screened by members of the State House of Assembly in Lokoja on October 21, 2019.

 

 

The Kogi State House of Assembly has screened the Deputy Governor-nominee, Mr Edward Onoja.

Mr Onoja appeared before members of the House on Monday at the legislative chamber of the Assembly complex in Lokoja, the state capital.

The deputy governor-nominee is the former Chief of Staff to the state governor, Mr Yahaya Bello.

His screening comes three days after the lawmakers impeached the former deputy governor of the state, Mr Simon Achuba.

READ ALSO: Kogi Deputy Governor Impeached

The House impeached the embattled former deputy governor on Friday following the submission of a report of the committee set up by the State Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajana, to investigate an allegation of gross misconduct against him.

The Majority Leader of the House and member representing Ajaokuta State Constituency, Mr Hassan Abdullahi, had told reporters that Mr Achuba was impeached in a unanimous decision by the lawmakers.

He added that a seven-man committee headed by John Bayeshea submitted the report to the Speaker of the House, Mr Mathew Kolawole, before the House arrived at the decision.

Mr Achuba, however, rejected his impeachment by the lawmakers, saying it was illegal and unconstitutional.

Kogi Assembly Asks Chief Judge To Set Up Impeachment Panel For Deputy Gov

Kogi Deputy Governor Alleges Threat To His Life
The Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Simon Achuba, addresses reporters in Lokoja on August 1, 2019.

 

 

The Kogi State House of Assembly has directed the Chief Judge in the state, Justice Nasir Ajanah, to set up a seven-man committee to proceed with the impeachment of the deputy governor, Mr Simon Achuba.

The lawmakers gave the directive during Tuesday’s plenary in the legislative chamber of the Assembly complex in Lokoja, the state capital.

This followed a motion raised by the Majority Leader of the House, Abdullahi Bello, the lawmaker representing Ajaokuta state constituency.

He cited Section 188 (4) of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution, as amended to support his motion.

Bello explained that he raised the motion following the allegation of gross misconduct levelled against the deputy governor by the House.

He said the failure of Mr Achuba to respond to the allegation within the 14 days given by law warranted no further debates, but for the next step to be taken.

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Ahmed Muhammed, from Ankpa State Constituency I, seconded the motion.

Thereafter, the Speaker called for the voting of members in support and against the motion.

Nineteen out of the 25 members of the House voted in support of the motion.

The Speaker, thereby, directed the clerk of the House to communicate the directive of the lawmakers to the judicial arm of government in the state.

Mathew Kolawole Elected New Kogi Speaker

Mathew Kolawole Elected New Kogi Speaker
Mathew Kolawole

Lawmakers at the Kogi State House of Assembly have elected Honourable Mathew Kolawole as the new speaker of the House, following the resignation of Honourable Umar Ahmed Imam.

Kolawole, the member representing Kabba/Bunu constituency, was elected on Thursday during a session attended by 20 out of 25 members of the Assembly.

Honourable Hassan Abdullahi who represents Dekina/Okura constituency, however, remained the Deputy Speaker even as the sitting was held under a water-tight security.

READ ALSO: Kogi Speaker Resigns

The sitting began when the Clark of the House Mr Cheja Saidu read out the resignation letter from the former Speaker dated August 3, 2017.

According to the letter, Honourable Imam said he decided to resign to avert plunging the state into another round of crisis.

Consequently, Honourable Kolawole was nominated and seconded after which he took the oath of office and allegiance, as well as read his acceptance speech.

The new Speaker expressed gratitude to the lawmakers for reposing confidence in him and assured them that he would take the Assembly to an enviable height.

In his address, the deputy speaker urged the new speaker to be transparent and carry members along even as he described the tenure of the former speaker as eventful.

Kogi Speaker Resigns

Kogi Assembly

The Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Umar Ahmed Iman, has resigned, a day after the lawmakers postponed their sitting as crisis rocked the Assembly.

The Clark of the Assembly read the resignation letter to lawmakers.

The Kogi lawmakers had on Wednesday postponed sitting till further notice after a crisis erupted on Tuesday over an alleged plan to remove the majority leader of the House, Matthew Kolawole.

They, however, resumed sitting today and after Ahmed’s resignation letter was read to them, elected Kolawole, as the Speaker.

Kolawole is said to be a staunch supporter of the state Governor, Mr Yahaya Bello.

Crisis Rocks Kogi Assembly, Lawmakers Postpone Sitting

Kogi AssemblyThe Kogi lawmakers at the State Assembly have postponed sitting till further notice, following a crisis that erupted on Tuesday over the alleged plan to remove the majority leader of the House, Matthew Kolawole.

It was alleged that the State Commissioner of Police, Wilson Inalegwu who had earlier assured journalists that the plenary was going to be peaceful, could not act when the thugs stormed the Assembly, raising suspicion that he was allegedly working on the order of the governor.

According to eye witness, the development was an alleged attempt to halt the planned removal of the majority leader of the House, Matthew Kolawole, who is said to be a staunch supporter of the state governor.

Some of the state officials were also slated to testify before the House of Assembly on how the state government utilized the bailout funds and the two tranches of the Paris-Club Loan refunds received from the Federal Government.

Kogi Assembly Shuns Melaye’s Call For Impeachment Of Governor Bello

The Kogi State House of Assembly has shunned the call by Senator Dino Melaye on lawmakers to commence an impeachment process against Governor Yahaya Bello.

Senator Melaye made the call on Friday last week after the Independent National Electoral Commission accused the governor of registering twice to vote.

READ ALSO: INEC Accuses Kogi Governor Of Double Registration

The Assembly, however, said it cannot be forced to go against the 1999 Constitution, which restrains it from investigating the electoral process.

Apart from shunning Senator Melaye’s call, the lawmakers unanimously passed a vote of confidence on Governor Bello.

The lawmakers said in a statement that the Assembly is not a robotic institution that can be unduly influenced by external forces.

According to them, the call by Senator Melaye for the impeachment of the governor is an insult to the Constitution.

“The constitutional democracy which the country is presently practising is expected to operate in tune with the letters and spirit of the constitution,” they said.

Kogi House Of Assembly Gate Locked Against G15 Members

Kogi, House of assemblyThere was a mild drama at the main gate of Kogi State House Of Assembly complex, when the G15 members including the Speaker, Hon Momoh-Jimoh Lawal resumed at the state house of assembly after a protracted crisis which rocked the house in last few months.

The Speaker and his members, who were at the assembly gate for several hours had to cut off the chain to gain access to the assembly chamber.

As early as 7AM, security operatives armed with guns were at the Kogi State House of Assembly complex to ascertain who the real staff were before anyone could gain entrance. Non-staffs were disallowed access.

At about 10AM, the G15 members arrived the assembly complex to commence plenary session after being favoured by the court but found the gate under lock and key.

The security man demanded for a clearance from the Commissioner of Police before he could allow them.

After several minutes of argument, they decided to cut the key, which eventually gave them access to the assembly chamber,

Speaker Iman’s picture was removed and broken while Momoh-Jimoh Lawal took the seat.

The assembly complex was empty, as members of staff who came earlier were said to have been instructed to vacate the premises.

Nevertheless, the G15 members held their sitting despite the lack of electricity. Not even the Clerk of the House nor the Sergeant at Arms was available.

Settling down to the business of the day, the Speaker Momoh-Jimoh Lawal in his speech urged his colleagues to see the judicial pronouncement as the will of God.

The Majority Leader of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Matthew Kolawole, also urged the other lawmakers to come and join hands with them.

Hon Shugaba was on his speech when rumours filtered in that the other faction were around so the Speaker was immediately asked to adjoin the seating.

At the premises of the assembly the DSS Director and the Commissioner of Police had arrived and an argument ensued between the members and the security operatives.

The Police Commissioner, Yakubu Usman, who spoke to the press said that their duty was to prevent thugs from coming to vandalize the assembly and not the members.

Reps Commence Hearing, Meet IGP Over Kogi Crisis

Kogi crisisThe Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, has blamed communication gap for the reopening of the Kogi State House of Assembly despite a resolution of the National Assembly sealing it.

The Police chief put forward this position after appearing before the adhoc committee set up by the House of Representatives to investigate comments made by the Attorney-General of the Federation that the National Assembly was wrong to have taken over the duties of the state assembly.

The House demanded to know why the IG ordered the reopening of the Kogi State House of Assembly after the National Assembly invoked Section 11 Subsection 4 of the constitution and ordered its closure.

“I think the area of disagreement is that we were not able to distinguish who were the members and who were the staff of the Assembly.

“We didn’t want to prevent the staff of the Assembly from coming into the Assembly and that day that they came in, I’m sure it was an oversight and we shouldn’t have allowed them to do that,” the IGP said.

The Inspector-General of Police further said that he only sought advice from the Attorney-General of the Federation.

At this point, journalists were excused and the meeting continued behind closed doors.

At the end of the closed-door meeting, the House of Representatives Majority leader, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, spoke to the newsmen.

“The hearing is a process; this is the first day and there are several sides to it. We have taken the position of the IG, the Attorney-General will be with us hopefully on Monday and we will now come to a decision,” he said.

The IG also reaffirmed his position to newsmen after the meeting, “We felt that there was a communication breakdown somewhere and I actually told them (lawmakers) that I would not do anything to abridge the constitution.

“I am a law officer and I have sworn on the constitution to obey the constitution at all times.”