Disturbed by the growing impunity in the country, 130 members of the House of Representatives yesterday launched a battle to remove President Goodluck Jonathan. They signed an impeachment notice register.
But Speaker Aminu Tambuwal asked his colleagues to consider the barricade of the National Assembly by the police and security agents as part of the price to pay for a sustainable democracy.
Members at the Executive Session of the House, refused to table the impunity of the police to “avoid the situation degenerating into a major crisis.”
Investigation showed that members were angry by the invasion of the National Assembly by the police and security agents.
They alleged that the invasion was backed by the Presidency.
They alleged that President Jonathan met secretly with on Wednesday night with Senate President David Mark and Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha on the shape of yesterday’s House sitting.
Alleging executive recklessness, interference and abuse of police, the members opted to collate signatures for an impeachment notice against President Jonathan.
The lawmakers also rejected the request for the extension of emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.
Instead, they asked the President to “invoke Section 8 of the Armed Forces Act to deal with Boko Haram insurgency”.
A principal officer of the House said: “With how the police and security agents molested members of the House of Representatives, President Goodluck Jonathan has lost our goodwill. We have resolved to stop this impunity in the land.”
Another House member, who confirmed to have signed the register, said: “This time around, it is going to be battle to the finish. Going by the principle of Separation of Powers, the police and security agents have no business barricading or occupying the National Assembly.
“The Executive arm is misusing the police and security agencies. We will no longer tolerate this.
“In a democracy, the Legislature is a sacred place. Why will hooded security agents invade the National Assembly to the extent that members were forced to be jumping the fence to enter the complex. What has become of our mandate as elected Representatives?”
The House requires signatures of one-third of the members of the National Assembly to serve impeachment notice on the President.
Senators are believed to be in league with members of the House to move against Jonathan.
The source said: “From the way we are going, the siege on the National Assembly might be the beginning of more clampdown on the lawmakers. The closure of the Assembly by the Chairman, Senate President David Mark suggested that anarchy was imminent.
“We will not sit by in the House and watch the political environment polluted and our hard-earned democracy turned into diarchy.
“The only condition for peace is for Jonathan to retrace his steps by respecting the principle of Separation of Powers and call both the police and security agencies to order.”
Section 143 of the 1999 Constitution reads in part: “The President or Vice-President may be removed from office in accordance with the provisions of this section whenever a notice of any allegation in writing signed by not less than one-third of the members of the National Assembly is (a) presented to the President of the Senate (b) stating that the holder of the office of President or Vice-President is guilty of gross misconduct in the performance of the functions of his office, detailed particulars of which shall be specified.”
House member said the Police Affairs Committee was mandated to invite the Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, to explain why Representatives were attacked, teargassed and molested.
Another source confirmed that the House may also reject the President’s 2015 Appropriation Bill.
“With the invasion of the National Assembly by the police and security agents, the President may have it extremely difficult in getting our consent to consider the 2015 Appropriation Bill.
“If he can intimidate, we can also use our constitutional powers to assert our constitutional rights,” he said[The Nation]