Nasarawa Assembly wants state Chief Judge punished; suspends APC lawmaker

Tanko Al-Makura, governor of Nasarawa state

The Nasarawa State House of Assembly has passed a resolution directing the clerk of the House, Maikeffi Ego, to petition the National Judicial Council [NJC] asking the commission to punish the state chief Judge, Justice Suleiman Dikko.

The House also suspended Tanko Tunga [APC, Awe North constituency] over alleged gross misconduct and attempt to disrupt the House sitting during the last sitting of the Assembly.

Mr. Tunga is to remain suspended for six months and would be paid half salary during the period.

The lawmakers, who have been staying in Abuja since the beginning of the impeachment saga, arrived the assembly around 9.30 a.m. in a convoy of over 17 vehicles and escorted by security operatives.

Few minutes before their arrival, 17 Hilux vans packed with security operatives, took over the premises of the state assembly. An armoured personnel carrier was also stationed within the premises.

The lawmakers upon arrival, and on their way to the Assembly, were welcomed and cheered by a mammoth crowd of supporters at the state secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP ) along Jos road Lafia.

After an executive session, the House dissolved into plenary. First it suspended its rule to allow the presentation of two issues of public interest — the motion on the state chief Judge and the suspension of Mr. Tunga.

The sitting, which was attended by 18 of the 20 PDP lawmakers and the House minority leader, Adamu Maikatako (APC, Lafia Central], had only those two motions in the order paper.

The motion on the chief judge, moved by the House majority leader, Godiya Akwashiki [PDP Nasarawa Eggon West constituency] concerned the composition of the seven-man panel by Justic Dikko to investigate the alleged 16-count impeachment charges leveled against Governor Umaru Tanko Al – Makura.

Moving the motion, Mr. Akwashiki said the action of the chief judge on the composition of the seven-man panel contradicted section 188, subsection 5 of the Nigerian constitution.

He said that despite a resolution of the House urging the chief judge to disband the panel over the inclusion of card-carrying members of a political party and a government employee, the Chief Judge failed to reconstitute the panel.

The motion, which was seconded by Yahaha Usman [PDP, Toto Umaisha constituency], was unanimously passed by the house.

The motion for the suspension of Mr. Tunga was brought by Baba Ibaku [PDP, Udege look constituency].

Mr. Ibaku, who is chairman of the House committee on Information, said the conduct of the APC lawmaker at the last sitting of the House was against the Assembly rule.

He alleged that the suspended lawmaker attempted to steal the mace, which is the authority of the House, and in the process pushed the Speaker, Musa Ahmed Mohammed [PDP, Nasarawa Central].

The motion was seconded by Agyo Mesa, representing Lafia North.

The suspended member, who represents Awe South, was placed on half salary and is to serve six-month suspension.

The speaker, Mr. Mohammed, directed the clerk to petition the NJC on Justice Dikko and communicate Mr. Tunga on his suspension.

The House then adjourned to Tuesday at 9.am.

The lawmaker’s next move against Governor Al-Makura is unclear. But there have been reports that the PDP legislators were bent on removing the governor from office even after the investigative panel that probed allegations of gross misconduct against him cleared him.

Mr. Al-Makura’s party, the All Progressives Congress [APC] had on Sunday condemned the renewed plan by the Assembly to impeach the governor, saying the state lawmakers were bent on thumbing their nose at the Constitution in their desperation to remove Mr. Al-Makura.


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