- Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara both condemn the proposed impeachment of Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state
- Saraki and Ortom say the impeachment move is a desecration of legislative sanctity
- The duo ask President Buhari to call the police to order since the latter is allegedly supporting the minority lawmakers
The leadership of the National Assembly, on Monday, July 30, condemned the impeachment move against Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state by eight members of the House of Assembly.
Senate president, Bukola Saraki, and speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara said the move was a desecration of legislative sanctity.
Eight members of the 30-man House of Assembly commenced an impeachment process against the governor.
Allegedly with the support of the police, the 22 other members who constitute more than two-third majority were kept away from the Assembly complex.
In a statement jointly signed by their aides in charge of media and made available to Legit.ng, Saraki and Dogara called on President Muhammadu Buhari to call the police to order and stop them being used to achieve political purposes.
“We have monitored closely the development in Benue state in which the impeached speaker, Terkimbir Ikyange, led seven other members to serve impeachment notice on the state governor, Samuel Ortom, while the 22 other members who constitute more than two-third majority have been prevented from having access to the chamber.
“We believe this is illegality and does not conform to parliamentary procedure on impeachment.
“We also note with surprise the role of the police in this undemocratic event in which the minority is seeking to impeach a governor against the position of the majority.
“We believe it is the sacred institution of the legislature that is being desecrated and rubbished in all these negative developments.
“The situation in Benue state House of Assembly has grave implication for the nation's democracy and it represents a throw-back to the period of dictatorship in our country.
“It also represents how the Nigeria police are being misused to achieve political end.
“In a statement recently, the presidency derisively referred to an era in the past where a minority number of legislators was used to impeach governors who were unfriendly with the federal government. What we are seeing in Benue now is a return to that inglorious era.
“We believe this unlawful and unconstitutional move to impeach Governor Samuel Ortom by a minority should be condemned by all lovers of democracy, at home and abroad.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to call the police to order and prevent a break-down of law and order. We also call on friends of Nigeria in the international community to lend their voice in condemning the perpetration of illegalities and actions that can subvert our democracy,” they said.
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The two leaders at the National Assembly added: “There is already a tense atmosphere in Benue state following the recent killings. Nobody should encourage any action or move which may exacerbate the security situation in the North Central state.
“As leaders of the federal legislature, we are ready to work with our colleagues in both chambers of the National Assembly to prevent any attempt to destroy any state legislature or use it to derail democracy.”
Legit.ng earlier reported that Terkimbir Ikyange, the impeached speaker of the Benue state House of Assembly, said on Monday, July 30, that the chamber had begun impeachment attempts against Governor Samuel Ortom.
This followed as another faction of the House under the new speaker, Honourable Titus Uba, said that they have suspended the entire Ikyange six-member committee for six months.
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