Twenty-three days to the handover date of May 29, two outgoing governors from the North – Babangida Aliyu (Niger) and Ibrahim Shema (Katsina) – are now in a battle of wits as their state lawmakers have threatened to impeach them before the expiry of their tenure.
In Niger State, the House of Assembly lawmakers have already impeached the speaker, Barrister Usman Adamu, and three other principal officers as a precursor to impeaching the governor himself. They are set to serve him impeachment proceedings.
Nineteen of the 27-member House, with heavy security presence, impeached the speaker and his deputy, Abdulraman Gmbo, and in a unanimous vote elected Hon Isah Kawu as the new speaker.
The House also elected Ahmed Bello of Agwara constituency as the new deputy speaker, Yusuf Kure of Paiko as the majority leader and Saudatu Kolo of Mashegu constitution as the new chief whip.
The member representing Lavun, Jacob Gana, moved the motion for the impeachment of the principal officers on the ground that they erred in their duties to the House and asked that Isah Kawu be made speaker pro-tempore. He was seconded by Jibrin Bawa of Suleja constituency.
The 19 members later elected the principal officers and they were immediately sworn in by the clerk of the house.
In a swift reaction, the purportedly impeached speaker, Adamu Usman, disclosed that he had obtained a court order restraining the House from taking the action and said the action was in violation of the court order.
According to him, they disobeyed the order to impeach him after 1am against the rules of the House, saying that the target was to serve Governor Aliyu an impeachment notice.
He explained that the lawmakers wanted to remove the governor because they had not been given overhead and constituency allowances since the beginning of this fiscal year.
“As far as I am concerned, I am still the speaker and the impeachment is null and void. I have not been accused of financial misappropriation; it is because the executive has not released overheads since the beginning of the year. Don’t be surprised that impeachment notice is served on the governor of Niger State tomorrow; the governor should be prepared.”
Katsina assembly members threaten to impeach Gov Shema
Fifteen members of Katsina State House of Assembly have threatened to commence impeachment proceedings against the state governor, Ibrahim Shehu Shema.
The members vowed to serve the governor an impeachment notice by next Monday when they resume sitting over his poor handling of state’s finances among other impeachable offences.
Spokesman of the 15 members, Danlami Kurfi (APC,Kurfi) told newsmen in Katsina that Shema engaged in spending of public funds without recourse to laid-down procedures.
Kurfi said the assembly members were determined to find answers to expenditures that included the N33 billion local government funds, selling of state houses in Katsina and Abuja, and SURE-P vehicles by the state government.
He accused the governor of failing to present audited state finance report to the state assembly as required by law, insisting that the move by the House was to ensure that things are done in line with the provisions of the constitution.
He stressed that some of the legislators, comprising mostly those that defected to the APC and some others aggrieved within the PDP, had met and were set to serve the governor an impeachment notice.
Kurfi, who is also the member-elect for Dutsinma/Kurfi Federal Constituency, said it was only proper to raise the above questions as Katsina is greater than any one individual.
“Issues have been raised and questions are needing answers from the executive arm of government,” he said, adding that it was not out of place to commence impeachment proceedings against Shema over his way of handling the affairs of the state.
“If we have erred before then it is now time to correct our past deeds by ensuring the truths is told to all Katsina people with true state of finances of the state, We are to write to him this next week notice of impeachment,” he said.[Leadership]