The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has condemned the renewed plan by the Nassarawa State House of Assembly to impeach the Governor of the state, Mr. Tanko Al-Makura.
The aggrieved lawmakers, who are unhappy that the governor was cleared of all the allegations they previously levelled against him, have been said to have hatched a fresh plot to impeach the governor within a week.
Speaking on behalf of the Coalition, its Executive Chairman, Comrade Debo Adeniran, who described the new plot as an act of desperation, enjoined the lawmakers to tread with caution.
He said, “Procedure had been followed, they ordered the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Suleiman Dikko to set up the panel that made enquiry and he did so based on the extant laws, why is it that they want to dictate the pace at which the judicial procedure would go? They can’t eat their cake and have it. Are they saying that the portion that says they should set up a judicial panel to investigate the veracity of allegations made against the governor before he is impeached was unnecessary? Or why didn’t they outlaw that portion before they began the procedure? Now, if they didn’t believe in their own judiciary, why didn’t they make the amendment or why is it that they didn’t outrightly usurp the functions of the judiciary arm of government? There should be separation of powers; there should be checks and balances. What they judiciary in that state has done was to have checked the excesses of the legislature and that is the role of checks and balances. Separation of Power demands that they only have a role to begin the procedure; they cannot carry it out completely.
If they want to exert their power over the Executive that is by beginning the process of removing the governor, the judiciary has a role to play, and that is checks and balances. It is the same way the Executive would not have been able to remove the Chief Judge without recourse to the Legislature. Supposing such a thing happens, would they be happy if the Executive says they can’t do it i.e. they can’t assert their own power? Or carry out their oversight function over the Executive? They should eat the humble pie and know that the procedure has been followed. Impeachment in Adamawa succeeded following the same procedure. Even that of Alhaji Balarabe Musa, which was the in this civilian dispensation followed the procedure to the letter, though some have been able to use the same judicial process to reverse their impeachment and many of lawmakers in the houses of Assembly rely on judiciary intervention when they are faced with political imbroglio.
The human rights activist however advised the lawmakers to follow the conventional procedure should they insist on impeaching the governor.
“Our argument is not about whether the government performed well or otherwise, it is that the conventional procedure for government actions must be followed by the three tiers of government who must ensure that the principles that make the three tiers semi-independent of one other be observed all the time. The lawmakers should wait for the next six months to begin the impeachment process against the governor.”
Media Officer, CACOL
19 August, 2014