UPDATE: Nasarawa Impeachment: Lawmakers accuse Chief Judge of bias, reject investigating panel

The Assembly based its decision on a petition written by a group, Nasarawa Concerned Citizens.

After sitting for hours in a distant local government, Karu, far away from the Assembly Complex in Lafia, the state capital, members of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly resolved to reject a seven-member panel already probing allegations they made against the state governor, Umaru Al-Makura.

The panel, headed by Yusuf-Usman, was set up by the Nasarawa State Chief Judge, Suleiman Dikko, to investigate the 16-count impeachment charges levelled against the governor by the lawmakers.

Citing insecurity, 19 members of the Assembly, all members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state held their sitting at a building in Karu Local Government Area, behind the local government secretariat. The four lawmakers, who belong to the governor’s All Progressives Congress, APC, were absent at the sitting.

At the end of the sitting, the lawmakers rejected the seven-member panel, accusing Mr. Dikko of disobeying the constitution in setting up the panel.

Announcing the decision of the Assembly, Speaker Musa Mohammed ( PDP – Nasarawa Central ) said that the composition of the panel negates the provision of Section188 of the Constitution.

Mr. Mohammed also said the panel has no right to sit until a guideline is forwarded to them by the Assembly.

He alleged that the panel was not formed in compliance with Section 188-5 of the constitution that demands that people of integrity to be appointed into the panel.

The Assembly based its decision on a petition written by a group, Nasarawa Concerned Citizens, alleging irregularities in the composition of the panel.

The petition, which was read on the floor of the Assembly, alleged that two of the seven members of the panel are card carrying members of PDP while others are in the pay roll of the state government.

Deliberating on the petition, Francis Orogu (PDP, Keana constituency) said that the panel is in complete disagreement with provisions of the constitution. He urged the chief judge to ‘do the right thing to redeem his image.’

Also contributing, Abdulkarim Usman ( PDP, Wamba constituency) asked the chief judge to reconstitute the panel.

Danladi Jatau moved a motion urging the chief judge to dissolve the panel while Philip Gyunka supported the motion.

The speaker then directed the clerk to communicate the resolution to the chief judge.

Reacting to the resolution of the Assembly, the Nasarawa State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Innocent Lagi, said that the action of the Assembly is the highest level of insanity. He urged residents of the state to disregard the resolution.


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