© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
IMPEACHMENT MONDAY: Benue, Imo, Kano state assemblies busy issuing quit notices
IT has been a gale of impeachments on Monday in the Benue, Imo and Kano State houses of assembly, as the governor, the deputy governor and the speaker of the House of the respective states were either removed from office or served an impeachment notice.
In Benue State, it was a fallout of last week events which culminated in Governor Samuel Ortom and majority of the state legislators decamping from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The defectors also impeached the Speaker of the House, Terkibir Ikyange.
However, on Monday, the remaining APC lawmakers led by the impeached Speaker and allegedly aided by security agencies, met at the state assembly complex where they resolved to commence an impeachment procedure against the governor, accusing him of corruption.
Ikyange told newsmen that the House discovered that Ortom has been embezzling funds meant for local governments to the tune of N50 million per local governments, “running into N33 billion in the past three years”.
“Also, the non payment of salaries of seven months to state workers, 11 months’ salaries being owed local government workers and pensioners up to 15 months, as well as non-performance which has affected the economy of the state,” he added.
Ikyange said the Governor has seven days to respond to the charges or be impeached. He also said the 15 members that defected to the PDP were suspended for six months.
Responding, the other faction of the Benue assembly who were prevented from gaining access into the assembly complex, held their sitting at the government house, during which they suspended members of the other faction.
Governor Ortom also described his purported impeachment process as a joke.
In Kano, the State’s House of Assembly resumed from its two-month-long break on Monday, and the first business of the day was the impeachment of the Speaker of the House, Abdullahi Ata.
Ata narrowly survived impeachment shortly before the House went on break, after the State Governor, Umar Ganduje intervened. But he was unlucky the second time, as he was eased out of office on Monday.
The impeached speaker did not last long in office, having been elected only few months ago to replace former speaker, Kabiru Rurum, who was accused of corruption.
However, following Ata’s impeachment on Monday, Rurum was re-elected as the new Speaker, in what appears to be a back and forth movement by the lawmakers.
In Imo State, Eze Madumere, the Deputy Governor, was also impeached by 19 out of the 27 members of the state’s House of Assembly, following allegations of “gross misconduct”.
This was in spite of a court order directing the Imo lawmakers to quit taking further action in the impeachment process.
Madumere has been at loggerheads with his principal, Rochas Okorocha, following his declaration to vie for the post of governorship in 2019. Okorocha had already ‘anointed’ his current Chief of Staff and son in-law, Uche Nwosu, to succeed him.
Okorocha has already announced the nomination of the Imo State Head of Service, Callistus Ekenze, as his new deputy.