The Speaker of the Zamfara State House of Assembly, Nasir Magarya, says the lawmakers followed due process in impeaching the state deputy governor, Mahdi Ali.
PREMIUM TIMES extensively reported how Mr Ali lost the battle against his principal, governor, Bello Matawalle, culminating in his removal from office.
Mr Ali had called the Assembly members illiterates for going ahead to ask the chief judge to constitute an investigative panel to probe him.
We followed due process
But speaking in an interview with BBC Hausa as monitored by PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Magarya said members of the assembly did not impeach the deputy governor because the governor told them to do so.
He said they followed due process and served Mr Ali with the necessary documents, informing him of the allegations against him before they asked the state chief judge to constitute an investigative panel.
“Well, we can’t stop people from criticising us but those criticising us don’t understand our constitutional role. The constitution gives us the right to impeach the governor or his deputy. We did our work diligently even before we reached the stage of asking for the inauguration of the panel,” he said.
Mr Magarya said people had been mistaking a court verdict to mean that Mr Ali should not be impeached, insisting that the status quo the Assembly was asked to respect was based on an earlier case from the former deputy governor.
“You know, the governor, his deputy (Mr Ali), myself and other stakeholders sat and decided that all political activities should be postponed. There was a time that the governor returned from abroad, and people went en masse to welcome him into the state capital. An accident that led to the death of over seven people occurred and we said nobody should hold a rally again. But Mahdi (Mr Ali) went ahead to hold a rally, despite that he was part of that resolution. The police commissioner even told him not to conduct the rally. We therefore sent him an invitation to come and explain himself but he ran to court thinking that we were planning to impeach him,” he said.
The speaker said the lawmakers did not disregard the court order because nobody invited him again on the rally issue.
He added that Mr Ali disregarded invitations from the committee formed which meant he was guilty of all the allegations.
Mr Ali has since been replaced with a senator, Hassan Nasiha, as deputy governor of the state.
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