23 Days To Go: Katsina, Niger Govs Face Impeachment

By Abu Nmodu, Muazu Elazeh, Nnamdi Mbawike on May, 6 2015

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Twenty-three days to the handover date of May 29, two outgoing governors from the North – Babangida Aliyu (Niger) and Ibrahim Shema (Katsina) – are now in a battle of wits as their state lawmakers have threatened to impeach them before the expiry of their tenure.

In Niger State, the House of Assembly lawmakers have already impeached the speaker, Barrister Usman Adamu, and three other principal officers as a precursor to impeaching the governor himself. They are set to serve him impeachment proceedings.

Nineteen of the 27-member House, with heavy security presence, impeached the speaker and his deputy, Abdulraman Gmbo, and in a unanimous vote elected Hon Isah Kawu as the new speaker.

The House also elected Ahmed Bello of Agwara constituency as the new deputy speaker, Yusuf Kure of Paiko as the majority leader and Saudatu Kolo of Mashegu constitution as the new chief whip.

The member representing Lavun, Jacob Gana, moved the motion for the impeachment of the principal officers on the ground that they erred in their duties to the House and asked that Isah Kawu be made speaker pro-tempore. He was seconded by Jibrin Bawa of Suleja constituency.

The 19 members later elected the principal officers and they were immediately sworn in by the clerk of the house.

In a swift reaction, the purportedly impeached speaker, Adamu Usman, disclosed that he had obtained a court order restraining the House from taking the action and said the action was in violation of the court order.

According to him, they disobeyed the order to impeach him after 1am against the rules of the House, saying that the target was to serve Governor Aliyu an impeachment notice.

He explained that the lawmakers wanted to remove the governor because they had not been given overhead and constituency allowances since the beginning of this fiscal year.

“As far as I am concerned, I am still the speaker and the impeachment is null and void. I have not been accused of financial misappropriation; it is because the executive has not released overheads since the beginning of the year. Don’t be surprised that impeachment notice is served on the governor of Niger State tomorrow; the governor should be prepared.”

 

Katsina assembly members threaten to impeach Gov Shema

Fifteen members of Katsina State House of Assembly have threatened to commence impeachment proceedings against the state governor, Ibrahim Shehu Shema.

The members vowed to serve the governor an impeachment notice by next Monday when they resume sitting over his poor handling of state’s finances among other impeachable offences.

Spokesman of the 15 members, Danlami Kurfi (APC,Kurfi) told newsmen in Katsina that Shema engaged in spending of public funds without recourse to laid-down procedures.

Kurfi said the assembly members were determined to find answers to expenditures that included the N33 billion local government funds, selling of state houses in Katsina and Abuja, and SURE-P vehicles by the state government.

He accused the governor of failing to present audited state finance report to the state assembly as required by law, insisting that the move by the House was to ensure that things are done in line with the provisions of the constitution.

He stressed that some of the legislators, comprising mostly those that defected to the APC and some others aggrieved within the PDP, had met and were set to serve the governor an impeachment notice.

Kurfi, who is also the member-elect for Dutsinma/Kurfi Federal Constituency, said it was only proper to raise the above questions as Katsina is greater than any one individual.

“Issues have been raised and questions are needing answers from the executive arm of government,” he said, adding that it was not out of place to commence impeachment proceedings against Shema over his way of handling the affairs of the state.

“If we have erred before then it is now time to correct our past deeds by ensuring the truths is told to all Katsina people with true state of finances of the state, We are to write to him this next week notice of impeachment,” he said.

 

Move to impeach me futile, says Chime

SULIVAN SIGNS BUDGET./PRPESS-7/MAR.PIX 08 GOV. SULLIVAN CHIME (L) OF ENUGU STATE ABOUT TO SIGN INTO LAW THE ENUGU STATE 2008 BUDGET IN ENUGU TODAY (18/03/08), WITH HIM IS THE SPEAKER, ENUGU STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, MR. EUGENE ODOH.Enugu State governor, Barr Sullivan Chime, has described the attempt by a faction of the state House of Assembly led by the speaker, Eugene Odoh, and 14 others to commence impeachment moves against him as an exercise in futility.

Chime, who spoke on Monday night, described as false the insinuations in some quarters that he had been served the purported impeachment notice.

The governor said, rather, he had received communication from the Clerk of the House, Christian Chukwurah to the effect that a leadership change had taken place in the assembly with Hon. Chinedu Nwamba emerging as the new speaker.

According to him, the move by the group of 15 lawmakers did not comply with the provisions of section 188 of the nation’s constitution which deals with how a governor or deputy governor can be removed from office.

He described the action, which is coming about three weeks to the end of his tenure, as not only mischievous but also malicious.

“Looking at the provisions of the constitution, they have clearly not complied with it. By the time they have the required number to articulate the allegations against me, the speaker is required by law to, within seven days, cause a notice to be served on me. Sitting in the early hours of Monday to me was rubbish. I’ve not been served any notice of allegations, which simply means they’ve not activated any action yet.

“More so, with the spate of suspensions and counter-suspensions, I don’t think they can even get the required two-thirds. What this simply means is that the matter is dead on arrival. By the time you look through the constitution, you will discover the number of months it will take them to carry out that exercise. Maybe, I am not really the one they are going to investigate. Perhaps, they are looking at the incoming government because by May 29, I will be out of this place. That is the folly in what they have set out to do.

“In their desperation, they overlooked due process. I can easily see what they are doing as a failed bid to investigate the governor. I’ve taken time to give these details because by tomorrow now, you will hear that the Chief Judge has refused to set up a panel. Let them hear it now that no CJ will listen to them,” he said.

Reacting to the alleged forgery of the 2012 supplementary budget to the tune of N12 billion, Chime dismissed the lawmakers’ claims and explained that all the budgets of the state, from the inception of his administration till date, were public document.

Chime pointed out that in their haste to cast aspersions on him, the legislators forgot that he was not in the state from September 2012 till February 2013 when the said budget was approved by the House.

He said he was ready to defend his actions as governor of the state at any time he was called upon, declaring that his administration had not, in any form, siphoned or embezzled any public fund since he came into office.

“The speaker and the House leader wanted to be governor and deputy governor respectively, and because they failed in their bid, they have decided to resort to blackmail; all the allegations they are brandishing have to do with money. Tell them that I will not give them any money and I wish them luck in their dream to impeach me,” he said.

The governor dismissed claims that the reported N11 billion loan request was to serve as his parting gift as governor, explaining that the lawmakers had in November last year approved the said loan request. According to him, when the state government approached the UBA for the loan, the bank demanded that the state should secure another approval from the legislators, that the loan be tied to an Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) – demand that made the government return to the lawmakers for approval.

Chime further maintained that instead of approving the ISPO demand, the leadership of the Assembly demanded kick-backs, a demand he promptly refused, leading to the ongoing attacks on his government.

“They started embarrassing the government, summoning officials and my aides to come and explain even actions that took place in my first term just because they couldn’t get money from me; you can see their frustrations,” he stated.

He also dismissed other accusations that bordered on alleged 25-year water concessioning, fraudulent allocation of lands, and the inflation of the contract sum for the ongoing new state secretariat, among others.

Meanwhile, the Enugu State House of Assembly has remained sealed.

Our correspondent who went to the legislative house observed that many security operatives had taken over the place.

Source: Leadership

 


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