Impeachment: Nasarawa Assembly Legal Team Appears Before Panel, Storms Out Mid-Way
After initially declining to appear before the panel instituted to investigate the allegation leveled against the Governor of Nasarawa State, Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura, the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, today made a u-turn and sent a six-man legal team to represent it before the panel.
The team of lawyers representing the lawmakers lead by Ocha Ulegede arrived the venue of the sitting around 8.45 a.m. and took the seats marked for the state assembly.
They however stormed out of the venue of the panel sitting mid-way into the proceeding for what the layers described as the unconstitutionality in the panel membership.
The Chairman of the Assembly’s Committee on Information, Baba Ibaku, had on Monday said the lawmakers would not appear before the panel because of alleged constitutional breach by the Chief Judge (CJ), Suleiman Dikko, in the composition of the panel.
“I have said earlier that this panel is on its own. They are just a busy body. If the governor likes, let him appear and present his response but the report will not be submitted to Assembly. ?It is a panel of the CJ.”
But appearing today, the assembly lawyer, Mr. Ulegede told the panel that it is unconstitutional for the panel to go ahead with the proceedings, because two of its members are card carrying members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while another is on the payroll of the Nasarawa state government.
While asking the panel to dissolve itself, Mr. Ulegede said they have only appeared before the panel to make its position known.
In is response, the Chairman of the Panel, Mr. Yusuf Usman, told the representative of the lawmakers that it has taken note and recorded the submission of the lawmakers, but rejection the request that the panel should dissolve itself.
Mr. Yusuf told the assembly lawyer that since the composition of the panel is a constitutional matter as agreed to by him, the panel sitting is not the appropriate place to make his request for its disbandment.
He therefore advised Mr. Ulegede to seek redress in the appropriate forum.
ASo soon as the Chairman of the panel made its position known, Mr Ulegede led John Mathew, P. A. Daffi, Steven Idikwu, Ache Obande and Abraham Aruta, who are also members of the assembly legal team out of the venue of the panel sitting.
In his submission, counsel to Governor Al-Makura, Noruka Udechukwu, reiterate his call for the dismissal of the allegation leveled against the governor.
He drew the attention of the panel to paragraph 7 subsection c of its guidelines which states that “where the House of Assembly fails or neglects to appear and lead evidence in proof of allegations, the panel upon proof of service may dismiss the allegation.”
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