Wednesday, 6 August 2014
Nasarawa Impeachment Fails As Panel Dismisses All Charges Against Governor Al-Makura
Governor of Nasarawa, Al -Makura hugs fellow APC Governor, Okorocha of Imo State
The seven-member panel investigating allegations of gross misconduct against Governor Umaru Al-Makura has dismissed all the charges.
The panel dismissed the charges after concluding its work and listening to the counsel to the Assembly on Tuesday morning.
The State Assembly had on Monday declared the inauguration of the panel by the State Chief Judge, Suleiman Dikko, as unconstitutional saying it would stay away from the probe.
But on Tuesday, the Assembly made a u-turn, and sent a legal team led by Ocha Ulegede to represent it before the panel.
The other members of the Assembly’s legal team were John Mathew, P. A. Daffi, Steven Idikwu, Ache Obande and Abraham Aruta.
The legal team arrived at the venue of the sitting around 8.45 a.m. and took the seats marked for the state assembly.
The legal team said the panel was breaching the Nigerian constitution.
Mr. Ulegede then presented a protest letter written by the legislators and argued that some members of the panel were also members of a political party and that their appointments negated the provision of Section 188 in the composition of the panel.
He said that the provision did not give the Chief Judge absolute power to appoint members of the panel.
Mr. Ulegede also said the provision stated that panel members must not belong to any political party, be a government appointee or be a person with questionable character.
The legal team said the panel had no right to set guidelines for the conduct of the sitting.
“Section 188 of the constitution spelt out clearly how the panel should be composed. They are three fundamental issues among which is that member of the panel cannot be a card carrying member of a political party. They cannot hold government appointment and that the panel does not have the power to set the rules of proceeding guiding the sitting”.
The legislators’ legal team said two members of the seven-member panel, Abdu Usman and Mohammed Keana, are members of the Peoples Democratic Part, PDP.
The legal team also said Joel Galadima is on the payroll of the state government.
Mr. Ulegede told the panel that the house does not recognize the panel and then requested to leave the premises.
After the panel heard the protest of the counsel to the State Assembly, it went on a brief recess.
When it resumed from the recess, the panel, which had listened to Mr. Al-Makura on Monday, dismissed the 16 charges against the governor.