- I am still the speaker Fintiri replies
A sort of legislative drama is catching the attention of the people of Adamawa state yesterday and today, where the house is divided against itself for plans to impeach the speaker of the House, Hon Umaru Fintiri today came to its nexus as 9 members believed to be loyal to Governor Bala James Nggilari sat at the conference hall of Adamawa Government House and ousted the Hon speaker.
The 11 aggrieved lawmakers laid down their charges against Fintiri on a Press Statement of highhandedness and unilateral closure of the house which lasted for weeks and issued a warning to the effect that by that action they have no alternative order than to convene the sitting elsewhere.
In the wake of the just concluded March/ April general election in the country, the House of Assembly has gone on a three week recess to allow members participate in the electioneering process to come back from the recess yesterday, 27th April, 2015 only to closed down the complex in a suspecting the 11 members will pass a vote of no confidence in the speaker.
The threat forced Fintiri to shift the plenary sitting which out to commence on Monday 20th April to Monday 27th April 2015 and even at that the house could not convene on the appointed day as the house of assembly premises remained under lock and key prompting the aggrieved lawmakers to issue another Press Statement warning that since the speaker could not open the house for legislative functions, they have no alternative order than to sit somewhere else.
As the crisis deepens, 9 among the 11 aggrieved lawmakers Tuesday convened at the conference hall of the government house where they impeached the speaker and his deputy.
As soon as the 9 lawmakers arrived the conference room, member representing Gombi constituency Hon Jerry Kumdisi moved for the appointment of Wale Fwa as Protem speaker and was seconded by member representing Girei constituency Abubakar Umar Girei.
While leading the session, the Protem speaker Fwa noted that the reason for convening of the session follows consistent refusal of Fintiri to open the house after series of entreaties made to him fell into deaf ears.
She added that majority of the lawmakers have lost confidence in the leadership of Fintiri as a result of which 17 lawmakers representing 2/3 of the lawmakers duly singed for the impeachment of the speaker and his deputy.
“All the members who signed the impeachment notice have resolved to remove the speaker and his deputy,” she noted.
It was at that point that member representing Verre constituency Hon. Salihu Kabillo moved for the impeachment of the speaker and his deputy leading to the removal of Fintiri.
After the removal Kabillo again moved for the nomination of Hon. Jerry Kumdisi as the new speaker of the house and was seconded by member representing Yola South, Hon Abuzarri Ribadu.
In his inaugural speech, Kumdisi pledged to end the era of impunity as was entrenched by Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri’s leadership which led to his eventual fall.
He promised to work in harmony with the executive arm of government as the relationship was earlier frosty which affected the people of the state adding that Fintiri also ensured that the house has remained under lock and key for some months.
He accused some of the lawmakers who failed to turn up for the impeachment as cowards adding that despite their failure to show up at the sitting the decision to impeach the leadership of the house remained sacrosanct as their signatures were duly appended and acknowledged.
The new speaker later moved for the adjournment of the sitting to tomorrow (Wednesday) by 10:00am.
Reacting to what he called a nullity, the embattled speaker of the house Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri said he remains the constitutionally recognized speaker of the assembly as those that claimed to remove him from office did not follow due process of the law.
He said “It beats my imagination for nine lawmakers who are under the payroll of the governor of the state to sit down with a fake mace at the government house to effect my removal,”
He said the people of Adamawa state knows who their representatives are and called on the media to safeguard the truth and the constitution of Nigeria.
“Their action is nullified as they did not follow the due process of the law. If they are right, they ought to come to the floor of the house and effect my removal not at government house,” he added.
In a swift reaction the alleged removed speaker, Rt Hon Umaru Fintiri told our reporters that he is still the speaker of the Adamawa House of Assembly, a seating was even done today and matters were delineated in House.
According to Fintiri he is not aware of any group or faction sad and move a motion of his impeachment outside the the Assembly hall an act that prick his mind to suspect some evil is planning against the people of Adamawa state using the 11 members by Executive Governor of the state to lot from the state treasury.
“Is illegal to hold an impeachment process outside the Assembly Hall if need be it why must it be in Government House? It shows the governor of the state is engineering them to remove me so as to steal in the coffers of the state.
“We’ve been cooperating well the executive arm of government in the state, were we support in passing of bills for the sake of the governor what else does he want at this point in time that is only 30 days is left out for handing over? Fintiri asked
According to him this impeachment does not hold any waters, it does not have any constitutional back up, no any serious legislative process is adhered to for a perfect impeachment proceedings to take place as such he remain the speaker of the house with a scheduled seating to hold tomorrow (Wednesday).
“I am an elected speaker which was done in the state assembly complex and any impeachment to be carried out against me should be in the same hall of our meetings” He added