Eight APC lawmakers take over Benue Assembly, serve Governor Ortom impeachment notice

Benue Governor, Samuel Ortom
Benue Governor, Samuel Ortom

Eight of 30 lawmakers of the Benue State House of Assembly have served impeachment notice on Governor Samuel Ortom.

The eight lawmakers also took control of the premises of the state parliament with the support of the police, Tahav Agerzua, a spokesperson for Mr Ortom said.

“They have taken over the House of Assembly and served the governor an impeachment notice despite a court order forbidding them from doing so,” Mr Agerzua told PREMIUM TIMES by telephone.

Mr Agerzua said George Akume, a former governor and APC senator from the state, brought police officers from Abuja to use eight lawmakers to impeach a governor in a House of 30 lawmakers.

The crisis came a few days after Mr Ortom defected from the APC to the PDP.

It also came days after 23 PDP lawmakers impeached Speaker Terkimbi Ikyange.  He was accused of failing to carry other members along in legislative activities.

Mr Ikyange, who remained in the APC despite recent mass defection of his colleagues to the PDP, was said to have been impeached because he was no longer in the majority party.

Some of the majority House members who impeached him insisted it had nothing to do with his status as a minority lawmaker.

Last week, PDP lawmakers said they were compelled to use the Government House in Makurdi to conduct legislative businesses after security agencies locked the state’s Assembly complex.

The state’s police commissioner was changed last week.

The mass defection of APC lawmakers in the House was in ancitipation of Mr Ortom’s planned defection to the PDP from APC, which eventually came last week.

Mr Akume did not immediately return requests for comments.

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