Rumbling in Divided Plateau House

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The confrontation between the speaker of the Plateau National Assembly, the Honorable Nuhu Abok Ayuba and the state governor, Simon Lalong, took a dramatic turn last Thursday when the president was impeached. From all indications, the deposed president and some members of the assembly have had an ongoing battle with the governor over the recent killings in the state.

At the height of the crisis, when twenty-five travelers to Ondo State via Jos were killed and thirty-five others murdered in YekwaZangam, the state assembly issued a two-week ultimatum. to the governor to take certain measures in the face of the state security crisis. and align with the people of the state.

The House’s position was then not well received by the state government, which saw it as an indictment against the governor for this unfortunate incident. The state government has argued that the Speaker of the House being a member of the All Progressive Congress (APC) should not have accepted such a position from parliament, as it appears he (the speaker) is playing a scenario of opposition to discredit the Lalong government.

The findings of the Sunday Tribune revealed that since the heated exchange of words between lawmakers and the state government over the wave of killings in the state, relations between the president and the governor have taken a nosedive and a attempt by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Honorable Femi Gbajabiamila to negotiate peace between the belligerents did not yield any positive results.

Further discoveries have revealed that since the clash between him and the state governor, the Honorable Abok has avoided government office and has rarely been seen in functions attended by Governor Lalong. He was clearly absent at the recent CPA state convention. A close source told the Sunday Tribune that the governor was not too keen on impeaching the president, but some forces in the halls of state power insist that the president pay for his sin.

There was a hint of his recent impeachment when a group, Youth Rights Against Corruption (YRAC), petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accusing the President of corruption, abuse of power and financial embezzlement. Based on the allegations, the group asked him to resign from his post pending the outcome of the investigation by the anti-crime agency.

In the petition signed by its Executive Director, Comrade Abednego Musa, titled “Petition against the Speaker of the Plateau State Assembly, Nuhu Abok Ayuba, on Serious Financial Misconduct, Criminal Abuse of Trust public and abuse of power, ”the group said its action was necessitated by popular demands and the need to avoid continued bleeding from the state’s public treasury.

The group pointed out that an investigation into House purchases and spending since Ayuba took his leadership position would reveal how he violated public trust and diverted contracts and projects to businesses of his interest with the alleged active connivance of the Clerk of the House. .

The saga of impeachment

But the plot to impeach Ayuba came to a head last Thursday when some members of the state assembly stormed the chamber under tight security around 6:00 a.m. Before their arrival, the security guards had entered the assembly complex as early as 4:30 a.m. The Vice-President chaired the plenary session in the presence of a few members. After the assault session, a member representing the Pengana constituency, the Honorable Yakubu Sanda, was elected as the new chair.

But before the dust on his impeachment settled, Ayuba and thirteen other members called a plenary session outside the assembly and suspended the six lawmakers, who proceeded to impeach him and also passed a vote of confidence in him. .

Explaining the rationale for Ayuba’s impeachment, House Majority Leader Hon.Daniel Naanlong said the House decided to change direction to save the institution and democracy from further damage due to misconduct and violation of due process and arbitrariness of Ayuba.

He said that after following due process and following established procedures, 16 members signed for the impeachment of Ayuba, who he said was then impeached by the required two-thirds of the members, including those of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who do not want to be mentioned.

Naanlong instead declared Ayuba that Sanda had been duly elected president. But the Chairman of the House Information Committee, the Honorable Philip Dasu, raised three fundamental questions regarding the timing of Ayuba’s impeachment, its constitutional requirements and its transparency.

Debunking Naanlong’s claim about Ayuba’s impeachment saga, Dasu said, “Nine of us were in plenary, seven supported Ayuba’s impeachment, while two of us abstained. But constitutionally, for the president to be impeached, at least a two-thirds majority must vote in favor of the process. Well, the Plateau State House of Assembly has 24 members, and only seven were involved in the impeachment. For this to be legal, at least 16 members must vote in favor.

He noted that the plenary was transmitted without Ayuba’s knowledge and was not attended by the majority of House members, as it was held at a strange time, unlike the 9:00 a.m. the House says its plenary must begin, stressing that even if an extraordinary session were to take place, it must be called by the speaker himself and that the members, who impeached the speaker, have snuck into the House to 6 a.m. with the cooperation of the security agency.

Meanwhile, the executive arm of the state government has absolved itself of Ayuba’s impeachment saga, saying that Sanda’s visit to government headquarters after his election as president was a tradition every time he was elected president. there is a change of guard at the assembly.

With the impeachment saga rocking the House right now, the question on the lips of many has been who is responsible for the state assembly? And who will solve the impasse? The impeached president still claims legitimacy on the assumption that constitutional requirements were not met for his impeachment, while the newly elected president also claims to be the legitimate head of the House, claiming Ayuba was sacked by the two-thirds majority of deputies. Assembly. Based on the above, there is a strong indication that the Edo State scenario could unfold in Lalong State.

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