‘Impeached’ Kogi deputy governor seeks Buhari’s intervention

Simon Achuba, Kogi state Deputy Governor [Photo: Vanguard News]
Simon Achuba, Kogi state Deputy Governor [Photo: Vanguard News]

The impeached Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Simon Achuba, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the political crisis currently rocking the state to prevent breakdown of law and order.

Mr Achuba made the call at a press conference in Lokoja on Sunday, shortly after packing out of his official residence.

He said that the president’s elderly intervention would save the state and the All Progressives Congress (APC) from an impending danger.

Mr Achuba described his impeachment by the state House of Assembly as act of extreme lawlessness, saying that he had instructed his lawyers to commence a judicial process to reclaim his seat.

He accused the executive and the legislative arms of government of treating him like a common criminal by calling policemen to barricade the entrance to his house.

The impeached deputy governor said that electricity supply to his official residence was also disconnected and power generator disabled to force him out few hours after his purported impeachment.

He insisted that swearing in anyone else as deputy governor amounted to illegality and a breach of the constitution.

“My purported impeachment last Friday by the state House of Assembly was unconstitutional and an illegality that will not stand the test of judiciary,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Assembly has accused members of the panel that investigated the allegations levelled against the former deputy governor of compromising the assignment given to them.

The Assembly’s Majority Leader, Hassan Abdulahi, made the accusation in a statement he issued on Sunday in Lokoja.

Based on the rules of procedure given to members of the panel, he said that their assignment was a fact-finding one, which did not require them to give any resolution.

“The panel submitted its report to us, and based on the report, we gave our verdict.

“The rule of procedure says that the panel was a fact finding one and as such, they were not to give judgment. This was in the rule of procedure which they accepted.

“They are not supposed to give any verdict in this circumstance. The decision of whether the deputy governor is guilty or not guilty is that of the House.

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“If you look at Section 188(11), it says that the House of Assembly is the only authority which determines what gross misconduct is. It is not for the panel to determine,” the lawmaker explained.

He also expressed displeasure with the reports of the panel being put in public domain.

“How come that few minutes later, the whole reports were on social media, even before the deliberation of the House on the same report? Again, I should let you know that even the report that is in the public domain was not signed.

“In the rule of procedure, it was written boldly that the panel shall not give the report of its investigation to anybody except to the Assembly.

“We question the rationale behind the statement credited to the panel Chairman, Mr John Baiyeshea, on the issue and wonder what his interest is.

“So, if the panel has gone ahead to release the report to anybody, that means it has compromised.

“It is a known fact that the impeached deputy governor was on some national television stations, discussing issues that should be classified information about the state government, thus acting against the oath of secrecy he swore to uphold.

“Does that not amount to a gross misconduct?” he queried.

The majority leader claimed that Mr Achuba confirmed before the panel that he did appear on those stations.

“Aside that, he (Achuba) also affirmed through an affidavit that he did commit the offence as alleged, and besides, the reports he submitted came in three parts. Then, how come the version on the social media is only parts I and II.

“In a nutshell, his actions already have negated the oath of secrecy. Is that not gross misconduct? Achuba also lied that he was not paid his salary when the schedules of payment showed clearly that he was paid.

“These and many more showed that he has negated his functions as deputy governor,” Mr Bello said.

(NAN)

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