Nneoma Benson and Lukman Abolade
EDWARD Onoja, former Chief of Staff to Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, on Monday has been sworn-in as deputy governor of the state.
Governor Bello sent Onoja’s name as a replacement after the impeachment of Simeon Achuba, the former deputy governor of the state.
Achuba was impeached on Friday following a conclusion of the reports of a committee set up by the Chief Judge of the State, Nasir Ajana.
The committee headed by John Bayashea submitted its report to the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mathew Kolawole who announced that the House of the Assembly after considering the reports, took the decision to impeach Achuba.
Achuba who defected from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to All Progressive Congress (APC) before he was sworn in as the Deputy Governor of Kogi state on February 9, was impeached over gross misconduct following several reports of a rift between him and the state governor.
Members of the state House of Assembly screened and confirmed the nomination of Onoja after which he was asked to take a bow before them giving way for the inauguration to take place.
During the inauguration ceremony held at the state house in Lokoja, Onoja accompanied by his wife read the oaths as they were administered to him by the Kogi State Chief Judge.
Achuba has, however, described his impeachment as unconstitutional and that the impeachment process was contrary to section 181 of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria.
Corroborating Achuba’s claim, the PDP through its National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbodiyan, said the action has reduced the state to a butt of jokes among compatriots in other states.
“What it means is that Yahaya Bello can wake up tomorrow morning and shut down institutions of government, including the state legislature, the judiciary, and even the civil service and become a law unto himself,” the statement read.
However, two days before the confirmation of Achuba impeachment, Onoja had announced via social handle on twitter of his position as the new deputy governor of the state,
“I am handling over as chief of staff with confidence. Earlier this week I resigned from my post as the Chief of Staff to Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.
“This is the requirement of law following His Excellency’s gracious nomination of my humble self as his running mate in the 2019 Kogi State Gubernatorial Elections.
“Today, my boss appointed Pharmacist Asuku Jamiu Abdulkareem, into the office I vacated. I wholeheartedly testify that my Successor as Chief of Staff is a proper fit for the office, having worked closely with me whilst we served His Excellency as Chief Of Staff And Director-General, Protocols respectively,” Onoja said.