The embattled deputy governor of Zamfara State, Mahadi Ali, has spoken for the first time since the State House of Assembly began the procedure to impeach him, saying the lawmakers cannot go on with the process.
“They cannot go ahead with the impeachment process because the issue is before a court of law,” Mr Ali said at a press briefing at the state capital, Gusau, Sunday evening.
PREMIUM TIMES reported that the Assembly has started a process to impeach the deputy governor.
18 members of the House voted for the impeachment move, following which the Chief Judge of the state inaugurated an Investigative panel to probe the deputy governor, in line with the procedure for impeachment.
‘If they continue, they are illiterates’
But Mr Ali on Sunday reacted to the drama in strong words. He said the lawmakers would be acting as illiterates if they continue with the impeachment move.
“I am here today to comment on the impeachment move against me. I have heard that the CJ (Chief Judge) has inaugurated a panel to investigate me. How could they go ahead with such a move? How could the CJ inaugurate the panel when the issue is before a court of law?” Mr Ali, who spoke in Hausa language, said.
The deputy governor, who is a lawyer, said he had told the lawmakers that they could not continue with the process.
“But this shows that they are nothing but illiterates to me. If they continue the move then they are illiterates. They should know there is a limit to what they can do.
“You see what I have been saying? God is great. This government that came to power through court verdict because of the failure of the APC and we were announced winners having come second, we are now disobeying a court order. A court has said that every party should wait for it to declare its verdict on the issue but they have decided to continue,” he said.
He also accused the chief judge of inaugurating “a kangaroo panel.”
“And the CJ went ahead to inaugurate the panel. Imagine. She, who has been the Chief Judge for over 15 years with her status and knowledge of what should be right but today, illiterates are making her do what is wrong. It’s shameful.”
When asked by a reporter to comment on the allegations against him, Mr Ali said if he joins APC, all the allegations would be history.
“It’s nothing. What they are saying is simple. If I finish from here and go and join their party (APC) everything will be forgotten. So, is there truth in the allegations? The only thing they want is to fulfil their wish but that is not how I do my things,” he said.
Rift over defection
The deputy governor, Mr Ali, parted ways with Governor Matatwalle after he refused to join the defection to the APC.
They had all taken their offices on the platform of the PDP after the Supreme Court disqualified candidates of the APC, who had been declared winners in the 2019 elections.
The House had served Mr Ali the impeachment notice through the Secretary to the State Government before asking the Chief Judge to constitute an investigative panel to verify the allegations against the deputy governor.
The House, through its Chairman, House Standing, Shamsudeen Basko, said Mr Ali was accused of three offences.
These are “abuse of office, criminal self-enrichment using public funds and failure to discharge official duties.”
Mr Basko said: “Abuse of office. This includes Constitutional breach of sections 190 and 193 (1), (2) (a)(b)(c), of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
“Criminal self-enrichment using public funds; includes criminal diversion of state funds, conspiracy to defraud the state and approval of dubious retirement in his office.
“Failure to discharge constitutional duties, which give rise to insubordination,” he added.
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