Nasarawa Lawmakers’ New Plot to Impeach Gov. Almakura
Members of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly are resolute in their plot to impeach Governor Tanko Almakura on account of the 16-count allegations against him.
The state lawmakers upon resumption of plenary on Monday declared clearly that the matter is still on the front burner.
The latest move started when the Leader of the House, Hon. Godiya Akwashiki, representing Nasarawa Eggon North Constituency, raised a motion on public hearing compelling the speaker to kick-start the fresh motion on the impeachment.
Akwashiki said that the action and motive of the state Chief Judge, Justice Suleiman Dikko in constituting a panel as directed by the assembly to investigate the allegations against the governor contradicted Section 188 sub section 5 of the 1999 Constitution.
Akwashiki alleged that justice Suleiman knowingly recruited some members of the panel who are card- carrying members of a political party, and some office holders who are relations of the accused.
This, he stated, would make such members to be partisan in dispensing justice and fair hearing would not be accorded to the other party.
Sighting a lacuna in the establishment of the panel, in view of Section 188, the leader referred the House to part 1 of that schedule Section 7, column 20 of the 1999 of the constitution on the body responsible for the disciplinary of members of the judiciary.
“As law makers, we don’t want to match violence to violence, crisis to crisis. I therefore crave the indulgence of the House to write to the National Judicial Council, NJC, to investigate the activities of the chief judge of Nasarawa state in the setting up of the panel of investigation”, Akwashiki moved
The motion was seconded by Deputy Leader of the House, Hon. Yahaya Usman, who represents Umasha/Ogha constituency.
Commenting on the motion, Hon. Orogu Francis (Keana constituency) said the issue before the House was a clear matter of the abuse of office by the chief judge of the state.
“The chief judge has joined forces and conspired with the political forces that are prepared to prevent the legislative body in Nasarawa state from doing its work. They are out to use every means both dubious and otherwise to frustrate us from achieving what ordinarily is called justice in the rule of law, and therefore the motion and secondment should stand,” he said.
Consequently, the Speaker, Ahmed Musa, directed the clerk of the House to forward a petition to the NJC within 24 hours to act accordingly.
If the NJC buys the view of the legislators, the vacating state chief judge may be suspended over violation of the provision of the constitution that mandates him to set up panel whose members do not belong to any political party. If that happens, a new panel may be constituted and Almakura may be impeached within 14 days.
It was gathered that the assembly is relying so much on the NJC to suspend the Justice Dikko over an allegation that the CJ was given N100million by the Nasarawa state government as bribe and the panel members were paid N400million each against the N150, 000 originally meant to be paid to each member per sitting.
Meanwhile, the Chairman Committee on Information and Security, Hon. Baba Ibaku, in a chat with reporters debunked allegations that Almakura bribed some top PDP leadership in and outside the state to the tune of over N700million to frustrate the lawmakers’ impeachment move.
Ibaku said the House does not care whether such thing exists or not because “all we are concerned about is how we will do justice to the issue at hand and we will never be distracted by anybody until we reach the end.”
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