Impeachment move now hangs on the neck of the Kogi State Governor and his Deputy, with fifteen of the lawmakers insisting that having committed constitutional crisis, there is no going back Gov. Yahaya Bello and Simon Achuba, must go.
For now both the APC and PDP caucuses in the State and National Assembly seem to be unanimous on the fact that the state is drifting, thus the need for an intervention.
The crisis of confidence rocking the Kogi State House of Assembly took a new dimension, as the faction loyal to the impeached Speaker, Honourable Momoh Lawal, relocated to Abuja, where they held a sitting of the assembly.
The lawmakers, who held their first sitting in Abuja, on Thursday, issued a summon to the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, to appear before the assembly’s faction.
The faction also served impeachment notice on the state deputy governor, while also suspending the five members who impeached the speaker last week.
The governor is to explain reasons why permanent secretaries, directors, accountants, cashiers of parastatals, agencies, ministries and councils areas have to be sent on compulsory leave.
Also, the five members, who sat and impeached the former Speaker, Hon Momoh Lawal, were suspended for acting contrary to the rules of the assembly and by “claiming to have sat without a quorum and forgery of signatures of 10 members in the purported impeachment.”
The suspended members are: Friday Sani; Umar Imam; John Abah; Lawi A.T. Ahmed and Bello Abdullahi.
The Kogi State House of Assembly is made up of 25 members, five of them took part in the rerun election which toke place last Saturday.
Presently, however, 20 are authentic members of the state House of Assembly and five members out of them sat and reportedly impeached the Speaker, Lawal, last week.
A member, Honourable Omiata Jimoh (PDP Yagba East) had moved a motion, urging the assembly to summon the governor and begin the impeachment process on the deputy governor.
The motion, was seconded by Aliu Akuh (PDP Omala) during their sitting in Abuja, which was presided over by the embattled Speaker Lawal. The sitting had the Maze, the symbol of authority of the assembly strategically positioned.
Honourable Omiata, in a motion, stated that the dissolution of the Local Government Service Commission, which, he said, was a statutory body created by law, was illegal and should be reverted, adding that “abolishment of one per cent from the joint account of state and local government without repeal of the law be disregarded and the status quo be maintained within.”
He added that all “institutions or directives of the state government with respect to Local Government Service Commission, State joint Local Government Account, Universal Basic Education, Pension Bureau, contrary to the extant law establishing them, be disregarded.”
The lawmaker insisted that the House of Assembly, being an institution created by law, “whose operations are guided by prescribed laws and rules, have no reference to recognise any person or group of persons as the leadership of the assembly other than Honourable Momoh Jimoh Lawal , the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly.”
He explained that the governor of the State, Mr Yahaya Bello, should, by no means and in whatever guise, communicate, receive or recognise anything from the group of five led by Honourable Ahmed Umar and that any transactions from the executive to or from the group of five shall be considered as fraudulent and met with legal resistance.
Omiata, however, informed that the council chairmen embarking on exercises that were capable of breaching the peace of their council areas should desist and return to status quo and the back-up vehicle forcefully towed out of the official residence of Momoh Jimoh“ should be returned as a matter of urgency within the next 24 hours.”
The 14 members that sat and presided over by the Speaker, Lawal, adopted all the motions and adjourned till March 8.
A source however disclosed to the NIGERIANPOST that the state governor who has remained in Abuja, has visited the President and his wife, among other personalities to help intervene in the crisis in the state.
The Conference of Speakers of States legislatures in Nigerian have also condemned in strong terms the impeachment of the Speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly, Jimoh Momoh Lawal insisting that due process must be followed.
In a statement by its Chairman, Ismaila Kamba, said the flagrant disrespect for the rule of law should not only be frowned at but condemned as an illegality that is capable of setting bad precedence and if not reversed could cause chaos and anarchy.
“The conference acknowledges the constitution makes provisions for the impeachment of a public officer as a check against tyrannical tendencies, but the constitution equally provides for procedure to be followed if the impeachment of such public officer is imperative.
“We advocate must be followed to carry out this check on public officers.
“We condemn it in its entirety because the way and manner the purported impeachment was carried out was short of the due process.
“We call on the relevant authorities to act in order to save our democracy by calling those behind such unconstitutional removal of the Speaker to order, “It read.
For now the state is experiencing an uneasy calm. People are seen in groups, with discussion centered mostly on the state of the state. The million dollar question remains will Bello Go!, only time will tell.