Abaribe condemns purported impeachment of Kogi deputy governor

Minority leader of the Senate, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe has raised the alarm, saying democracy is about to be imperilled if the purported illegal impeachment of Kogi State Deputy Governor, Elder Simon Achuba is sustained.

In a statement released on Monday in Abuja, Senator Abaribe also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to rise above party affiliations and intervene so as to ensure that the spirit and letter of the country’s constitution were protected.

The Minority leader condemned in the strongest terms and declared as reprehensible the deliberate denigration of the country’s constitution, for the Kogi State Assembly to go ahead to impeach Achuba even when a panel set up by the State Chief Justice to investigate him returned a no-guilty verdict.

“Section 188 of the 1999 Constitution as Amended is very emphatic in the circumstance, that is to say, that the State Assembly shall cease any further proceedings in the impeachment process.

“Specifically, Section 188(8) states that …Where the panel reports to the House of Assembly that the allegation has not been proved, no further proceedings shall be taken in respect of the matter.”

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“So where do the Kogi State Assembly members derive the power to move ahead with the process? Has Nigeria not been reduced to this rudderless state with this disdainful attitude to our laws and democratic ethos?, Abaribe queried.

Senator Abaribe further warned that with the direct affront on the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the actions of the State Assembly the very foundations of the country has been utterly shaken.

“The 1999 Constitution as Amended is the grundnorm of the country and the Kogi Assembly has committed a heinous breach of this sacred document. If their illegal action is sustained then it strikes at the heart of democracy in Nigeria.

“We must do the right thing and Nigeria must not be seen as a lawless country. I call on institutions of democracy to urgently activate the right principles in the defence of our democracy. Kogi Assembly should look beyond now and stop this illegality,” he added.

Senator Abaribe expressed displeasure over the haste with which the Assembly acted swiftly and in the middle of the night to purportedly impeach Achuba less than thirty minutes on receiving the not-guilty report from the panel.

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