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Reps Reject Bill That Will Give N/Assembly Power To Impeach Governors
The House of Representatives has rejected a bill for an Act to empower the National Assembly to impeach state governors and their deputies.
The bill, sponsored by Edward Pwajok, from Plateau sought to amend the Constitution so that federal lawmakers will be empowered to remove the governor and his deputy in appropriate circumstance.
In his contribution during the debate, Majority Leader of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, noted that since the country practices a federal system of government and not unitary system, passing the bill does not make legislative or moral sense as it undermines the spirit of true federalism.
Similarly, Delta State lawmaker Nicholas Ossai, said that the success of the bill would lead to the collapse of federalism in Nigeria.
Ossai pointed out that the bill contradicts the Constitution which remains the barometer through which other laws operate, adding that even in a situation where a state of emergency was declared in a state, the democratic structures were usually retained.
Gombe lawmaker, Ali Isa, said that there was really no need for the bill as the Constitution already empowers the House of Representatives to take over a state House of Assembly in times of crisis.
He said that when such becomes the case, the House also takes over the duties of the state house of assembly, which include impeaching the state governor.
Ayo Hulayat, an Osun State lawmaker, pointed out that the National Assembly already had powers to remove the president and the vice president, expressing concerns that empowering federal lawmakers to remove state governors and, by extension, local government chairmen, would make the legislators “omnipotent”, which is not ideal in a democracy.
Subsequently, sponsor of the bill, Pwajok, withdrew it after arguments.