by PRISCILLA DENNIS
…My impeachment, warning signal -Usman
Niger State House of Assembly yesterday impeached its Speaker, Alhaji Adamu Usman, and elected Alhaji Isa Kawu as the new Speaker.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that this followed the barring of the members from accessing the complex Tuesday morning by a combined team of security personnel from the Police, SSS and the Civil Defence Corps.
Eighteen members out of 27 voted for Usman’s impeachment, the motion was moved by Mr Jacob Maaji (Lavun constituency) and seconded by Mr Ibrahim Dama (Katcha constituency).
Other newly elected officials included Alhaji Bello Agwara, Deputy Speaker; Hajiya Sa’adatu Kolo (Mashegu constituency), Chief Whip, and Alhaji Yusuf Kure as Majority Leader.
After his swearing in by the Clerk of the House, Kawu pledged to ensure a harmonious working relationship in the legislature within the short period remaining.
‘’We will ensure that our legislative duty continued as usual and our oversight functions will be strengthened for better results to the people,” he said.
Reacting to his removal outside the Assembly complex, Usman told newsmen that the impeachment was null and void, insisting that he remains the speaker.
He said that the Chief Judge of the state has given an order restraining the House, the Clerk and security agencies from recognising the new officials.
Usman added that no allegation was levelled against him that could warrant his removal.
Meanwhile, Usman said his alleged impeachment is a warning sign for the state Governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu to sit up, just as he insisted he is still Speaker.
But, the new Speaker, Kawu, said the impeachment process was not targetted at the governor, saying: ” I am right now, begining to even see him.”
Usman at a press conference in Minna, said the sacking of the leadership of the house by the 19 members is null and void and of no effect, arguing that, he is still the speaker of the house.
“I am alerting the governor that he should be aware. He should be aware that whatever befalls me will befall him too. He should be prepared.”
He expressed joy that the action of the lawmakers was not due to financial mismanagement, saying:” Since January 2015, we have never received overhead cost because of problems associated with federation account. Everybody is aware. I do not control finance, as it comes I disburse. So, the impeachment beats my imagination.
The embattled Speaker explained that already, an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants (lawmakers) jointly and sererally from setting in motion any process of impeachment pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice signed by Justice Fati Abubakar has been served to them.
“Whatever you see today is illegal because the Mace is under my custody. So whatever decision they took today (Tuesday), is illegal.”
“Myself the Speaker, my deputy, the Chief Whip and the Majority Leader are still in charge. There are grudges that government had not done anything to them as expected. We are making efforts to see what we can do about it. But we are hearing they carried out an impeachment without any offence.
Kawu insisted that the decision taken by the 19 lawmakers was in conformity with the rules of the game.
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