House Minority Caucus Condemns Impeachment Of Kogi Deputy Governor

A file photo of lawmakers during plenary at the House of Representatives Chamber in Abuja

 

The Minority Caucus of the House of Representatives has condemned what it described as “overt lawlessness” in Kogi State, saying the impeachment of the Deputy Governor, Simon Achuba and the swearing-in of Edward Onoja in his place was “unknown to the laws of the land”.

The Caucus, which made their position known in a statement signed by the Minority Leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, warned the people of Kogi to brace of up for a “more oppressive and rapacious mode of governance if Governor Bello and the APC were allowed to force a minority government on the people once again”.

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They said: “Our understanding of that government in Lugard House is that of one given to an unabashed, unrepentant, and a rapacious breach of the people’s will. The so-called removal of the Deputy Governor is the height of unhinged travesty. It is impunity taken too far. It is neither known to law nor the Constitution of Nigeria and cannot be allowed to stand.

“By the purported removal of the Deputy Governor despite a ‘not guilty’ verdict returned by the Impeachment Panel, it is self-evident that these people are no respecters of law. The travesty is of no consequence for it imposes a defacto and not a dejure Deputy on the people of Kogi State and can only be short-lived.

“The good news is that the blundering government will soon have its day in the court of public opinion on November 16 and we trust the people of Kogi to pass an overwhelming Vote of No Confidence in the government and remove the incompetent and overbearing minority contraption from their Government House.

“For emphasis, we are by this statement placing a caveat emptor on both the Certificate of Occupancy and occupant of Lugard House. The people of Kogi should beware, for if the Governor could unleash this magnitude of abuse of power, hunger, and impunity in his first term, knowing he would face the people at the polls, how much more highhanded and vicious would he get in his second term?”

The Caucus called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to, in the meantime, apply the leash on the reckless abuse of power in the State as democracy could only survive by the sanctity of the rule of law.

Anyone Parading Himself As Kogi Deputy Governor Is An Impostor –Achuba

 

Mr Simon Achuba has insisted that he is the deputy governor of Kogi State and any other person parading himself as the deputy governor is an impostor who should be jailed.

Achuba disclosed this while reacting to questions during an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

When asked if he wants to be reinstated or continue his relationship with the present administration he said, “The idea of being reinstated does not exist. I am the deputy governor and there’s no other one.

“Anybody who is parading himself as the deputy governor is completely an impostor and nothing more. As far as the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is concerned that person must be an imposter and when law enforcement agents are effective, such person should have been arrested and kept in a dungeon for trial.”

He also insisted that his removal is unconstitutional and the action of the Kogi State House of Assembly will be questioned by the court of law.

“There can’t be two deputy governors in a state. There can only be one at a time. The only deputy governor that Kogi State has now is me.

“That the Chief Justice swore in somebody does not give it legality in any way. The action of the State Assembly and everyone who participated in the process will be out to test in court because we are in court already,” he said.

The new deputy governor of the state in reaction to Achuba, also on the programme said the Kogi State House of Assembly simply did their job and he deserves to be congratulated on his new appointment as new deputy governor.

“A process was followed. From the executive-legislative – and judiciary. The process was initiated by the legislative arm. The Assembly is doing their job and it is their right to do so.

“The matter is in court and we believe the judiciary will do justice to it,” he said.

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

He was subsequently sworn in by the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Nasir Ajana, as the Deputy Governor of Kogi State.

Onoja’s swearing-in follows Achuba’s impeachment by members of the Kogi State House of Assembly last week in Lokoja, the state capital.

He was impeached after the submission of a report of the committee set up by the State Chief Judge, Ajana, to investigate an allegation of gross misconduct against the former deputy governor.

Edward Onoja Sworn In As Kogi Deputy Governor

Mr Edward Onoja, being inaugurated as Kogi State Deputy Governor on October 21, 2019.

 

 

Mr Edward Onoja has been sworn in as the Deputy Governor of Kogi State.

The swearing-in ceremony held on Monday at the Government House in Lokoja, the state capital.

Onoja, a former Chief of Staff to Governor Yahaya Bello, was inaugurated shortly after he appeared before members of the Kogi State House of Assembly.

READ ALSO: Kogi Assembly Confirms Edward Onoja As Deputy Governor

Earlier, the new deputy governor was screened by the lawmakers who then asked him to take a bow, paving the way for his inauguration to replace the embattled former deputy governor of the state, Mr Simon Achuba.

Thereafter, the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Nasir Ajana, administered the oath of office on Mr Onoja who was accompanied by his wife.

The event was attended by Governor Bello, some members of the State House of Assembly, and top government officials in the state.

Onoja’s screening and swearing in came barely three days after the lawmakers impeached 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 the 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 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.

Impeachment: I Remain Deputy Governor Of Kogi State – Simon Achuba

 

Mr Simon Achuba has insisted that he is the Deputy Governor of Kogi State.

He stated this in a telephone interview with Channels Television on Friday, shortly after he was impeached by members of the State House of Assembly.

“What they have done is nothing. I am the deputy governor of Kogi State and I remain the deputy governor of Kogi State,” Achuba said while condemning the action of the lawmakers.

Earlier, the House in a unanimous decision impeached the embattled former deputy governor 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.

Majority Leader of the House and member representing Ajaokuta State Constituency, Mr Hassan Abdullahi, had told reporters that the Speaker, Mr Mathew Kolawole, received the committee’s report which was studied and deliberated upon before the lawmakers took the decision.

READ ALSO: Kogi Deputy Governor Impeached

 

A Complete Illegality?

Moments later, Mr Achuba stressed that his impeachment by the lawmakers was illegal, saying they didn’t follow the due process involved.

 

A file photo of impeached Kogi State Deputy Governor, Simon Achuba.

 

 

He said, “Impeachment has processes and the last process of impeachment is the verdict of the panel.

“If the panel says the case of the complainant is proved, it means that the accused which is the respondent in the case can be removed. But if their case is not proved, they can’t do anything concerning my office and that is the situation.”

According to Mr Achuba, the report before the Assembly stated that the case brought against him was not proved.

He explained that he did what was expected of him and presented himself before members of the seven-man panel set up by the Chief Judge in the state.

“So, what you have seen is the continuation of the illegality that I have complained about loudly.

“I will get a copy of the report in no time to prove to you that what they have done is complete illegality,” Achuba said.

Kogi Deputy Governor Impeached

A file photo of Kogi State Deputy Governor, Simon Achuba.

 

 

The Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Mr Simon Achuba, has been impeached.

Mr Achuba was impeached by members of the Kogi State House of Assembly on Friday in Lokoja, the state capital.

The Majority Leader of the House disclosed this to reporters at the premises of the Assembly complex.

Achuba’s impeachment followed 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 the former deputy governor.

The House, according to Abdullahi who represents Ajaokuta State Constituency, received, studied and deliberated on the report and a unanimous decision was arrived at to impeach Achuba.

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

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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 became the APC’s deputy governorship candidate in the election that brought Mr Yahaya Bello into office after a member of the House of Representatives, Mr James Faleke, rejected to be the governor’s running mate.

Years into the Bello’s administration, Achuba was reported to be engulfed in a disagreement with the governor, an issue which escalated with both sides trading blames.

In August 2019, Achuba 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.

The issue got worsened days later as the State Assembly announced that it had commenced impeachment proceedings against Mr Achuba for criticising the governor.

Members of the assembly described the action of the embattled deputy governor as gross misconduct against Governor Bello and the people of Kogi State.

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

Displeased with the action of the lawmakers, Mr Achuba filed an application before the State High Court, Lokoja, to challenge the impeachment notice served on him.

Elsewhere, the leadership of the APC in Kogi suspended Mr Achuba from the party for alleged anti-party activities before, during and after the 2019 general elections.

The party also alleged that he took some actions which constituted an embarrassment to the APC family in the state.

Simon Achuba Becomes Kogi Deputy Governor

Simon-ChubaSimon Achuba has been sworn in as the Deputy Governor of Kogi State.

His swearing in took place on Tuesday in Lokoja the capital of the north-central state.

Mr Chuba filled the vacuum in the deputy governorship position after Mr James Faleke refused to be Governor Yahaya Bello’s deputy.

Mr Achuba last year defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and he is a former Deputy Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly.

Mr Faleke wanted the position of the Governor after the governorship candidate in the election, Mr Abubakar Audu, died a day after the governorship election.

The election was declared inconclusive, with a supplementary election scheduled for a later date.

The APC was asked to substitute the late candidate, but Mr Faleke insisted that he should be the next in line for the position.

After the party was mandated to replace late Audu, it chose Mr Bello as the substitute, a decision that angered Mr Faleke, who subsequently refused to be Mr Bello’s deputy.

Supplementary election was held and the APC won the governorship seat, with the position of the deputy still vacant.

Contesting the results of the election, Mr Faleke filed a petition at the State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal to push his claims to the governorship position.

He is challenging the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in declaring the election of November 21 inclusive.