Why Jonathan may be impeached

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As tension and suspicion trail the impeachment of non PDP governors, a dissatisfied camp in the National Assembly is plotting to initiate moves to impeach President for being behind the campaign, writes James Obute 

 

Adamawa State House of Assembly led by its former Speaker (now Acting Governor), Umaru Fintiri, penultimate week impeached Governor Murtala Nyako. Earlier, the Speaker of Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Alhaji Musa Ahmed, directed the Clerk of the House to serve Governor Tanko Al-Makura with notice of impeachment for acts of gross misconduct. Governor Rochas Okorocha last week also disclosed that the 26 out of the 27 members of the Imo State House of Assembly were brought to Abuja and given N100 million each to impeach him. All these are happening amidst reports that President Goodluck Jonathan has made up his mind to re-contest the 2015 general election.

 

Adamawa State House of Assembly impeached Governor Murtala Nyako, a chieftain of the opposition   All Progressive Congress, APC after the state House of Assembly deliberated upon the report submitted by a seven-man investigative panel probing allegations of financial misconducts against him and his deputy. Minutes before Nyako was impeached, his deputy, Bala James Ngilari, reportedly resigned his position as the number two man in the state.

However, several people have dismissed the resignation of James Ngilari as a nullity because he did so under duress and he did not tender his resignation letter to the then governor Nyako. Both impeachment of Nyako and controversial resignation of James Ngilari are being challenged in the law court.

 

Lagos lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo, urged President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure that Ngilari is sworn in as the governor of Adamawa State. In his open letter dated July 21, 2014 addressed to Jonathan, Keyamo argued that declaring the office of the state’s Deputy Governor vacant on the grounds of Ngilari’s purported resignation was illegal and unconstitutional.

 

In the open letter titled: ‘Comedy of legal errors in the Adamawa State crisis: The case of illegal ouster of the deputy governor’, the lawyer argued that as much as Ngilari’s resignation letter was not addressed to the governor of the state as provided for in Section 306(5) of the constitution, it meant that the said resignation was of no effect. Keyamo expressed worry that “the nation may be gradually sliding into a state of anomie if your Excellency turns a blind eye and deaf ears to the various illegalities that have characterised the process employed in the gale of impeachments, or threatened impeachments and/or removal of elected representatives of the people in various parts of this country.”

 

The Chief Judge of Nassarawa State also set up investigative panel to probe Governor Tanko Al-Makura as requested by the state House of Assembly. But controversies continue to trail the entire system as the state lawmakers made u-turn to call on the CJ to disband the panel siting trivial reasons which many quarters consider as strange to the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria. As of the time of filling this report, the panel has commenced sitting.

An alleged attempt to embark on impeachment process of Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State resulted in the crisis in the state House of Assembly. It was also learnt that PDP government is also allegedly plotting the removal of governors of Oyo, Rivers and Imo states as well as other states controlled by the opposition APC.

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