Step-by-step constitutional guide on impeaching a governor in Nigeria

Step-by-step constitutional guide on impeaching a governor in Nigeria

- Voluminous and perhaps uninteresting for some Nigerians, the constitution contains a lot that should be studied and understood, especially in this era of the country's political development

- The constitution reveals the steps that must be taken by any House of Assembly before a governor in Nigeria can be impeached

- Failure to adhere to the provisions of the constitution will make the entire impeachment move illegal and baseless

With the wave of impeachment of some governors and their deputies rising in certain states in Nigeria, it is imperative to turn to the pages of the constitution in order to understand the steps to be followed along that line.

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The six steps required by the House of Assembly of any state to remove a governor from office as provided in section 181 (1) of the constitution are as follow:

The notice of allegation must be in writing and has to be signed by not less than one-third of the members of the House.

Moreover, the speaker notify members of the House about the proposal to impeach the governor after which also the lawmakers must be informed about his reply concerning the move to remove him from office.

Within 2 weeks of the notice, the House shall resolve whether to begin investigation through a motion adopted by not less than two-thirds of its member.

In the event that the motion is adopted, the speaker shall within one week request the chief judge to set up a panel to investigate the allegations.

The panel shall report back to the House within three months of inauguration. If the panel exonerates the governor, the matter must be dropped.

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Should the panel's report implicate the governor, the House shall within 14 days of the receipt of the signed allegation consider the claim and if it is adopted by two-third of the House the governor shall be removed from office.

Meanwhile, reported that eight out of 30 lawmakers in Benue State House of Assembly had reportedly served an impeachment notice on Governor Samuel Ortom.

Tahav Agerzua, a spokesperson for Governor Ortom told Premium Times at 10 am on Monday, July 30 that the eight lawmakers had also taken over the premises of the state parliament with the alleged support of the police.

“They have taken over the House of Assembly and served the governor an impeachment notice despite a court order forbidding them from doing so,” Agerzua said.

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