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Crisis rocks Kaduna assembly over alleged impeachment of speaker

By The Rainbow
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The Kaduna State House of Assembly has been thrown into confusion over the alleged impeachment of  Speaker, Mua'azu Gangara.

A group of 18 lawmakers in a-33 member house sat and allegedly impeached the speaker and immediately  replaced him by  Shehu Usman Tahir, who was elected in to replace him..

The aggrieved legislators who had given an earlier 30-day ultimatum for the speaker to vacate office.

At the expiration of the notice, the aggrieved legislators stormed the House of Assembly complex without the impeached Speaker and some other principal officers, and elected Tahir as the new speaker.

And in his address, the new Speaker, Tahir, said that what transpired yesterday morning was a clear manifestation that democracy is driven by the will and voice of the majority.

He said, 'The action you have taken, I believe, must have been informed by the strong desire and urgent desire to transform and re-inviolate this House for maximum results.

'However, for the House to be focused and vibrant to meet present-day reality, all members must resolve to undertake their constitutional mandate with all seriousness it deserves.'

He urged the lawmakers to formulate laws that would bring development to the state and not only 'promote peace, unity and good governance in our state but also guarantee the dividends of democracy for our electorate.'

But Gangara leading 15 other members of the House, including the principal officers, insists that he remained the Speaker citing constitutional provision for the impeachment of a speaker.

Section 92 (2c) states that a Speaker or his deputy can be removed from office 'if he is removed by a resolution of the House of Assembly by the votes of two third of the members of the House.'

The Kaduna State House of Assembly has 33 members but Gangara and his deputy were removed from office by 18 members at plenary.

The Speaker, Deputy Speaker and other principal officers of the House were absent at the sitting where Hon. Ishiaku Kantiok (Zonkwa constituency) moved the motion for the impeachment of the House leadership.

Kantiok had argued in the impeachment motion that reports in three newspaper said the leadership of the House visited the Vice President in Abuja and that money exchanged hands during the visit, saying that the Speaker failed to defend the allegation.

However, Gangara had described his purported removal as null and void and vowed to head for the court.

The Speaker, in company with other principal officers of the House, including the Deputy Speaker, Mayo Dogara; Majority Leader, David Umar; and Minority Leader, Usman Adamu later addressed journalists at the Nigeria Union of Journalists secretariat, Kaduna, accusing Sambo and Yero as the masterminds of his removal from office.

He said he remained the substantive Speaker because members that carried out the purported impeachment did not form quorum.

'The law stipulates that they must be up to 22 members to form a two-third quorum,' he said.

'We must respect the constitution of the country. The alternative is that we are heading to court to challenge the impeachment, we are going to follow it through in the court of law,' the embattled Speaker added.

The embattled Speaker said this even as the Minority Leader of the House, Dr. Shehu Adamu, alleged that the state governor, Mukthar Ramalan Yero, met with some of the legislators on Monday and promised them a reward of N10m each to impeach Gangara.

Adamu also said Vice President Namadi Sambo, whom he described as 'oga at the top' had hands in the impeachment plot.

Adamu alleged that the governor induced some members financially to impeach the Speaker,

He said, 'It is true that after our recess, there were insinuations that some members wanted the House leadership to resign. Unfortunately, they could not gather the required two-third majority and it still remains like that.

'We are in politics and what affect a particular political party can be transmitted to other organs of the polity. It is not a rumour because it has been going on and I can assure you that we have unconfirmed reports which we are going to confirm later that the Executive arm of government is interested in the matter.

'There is another report which we are yet to confirm that the governor, Mukthar Ramalan Yero, met with them yesterday (Monday) and made offer of cash of up to N10m each for them to sign the impeachment document.'

However, while dismissing the claim, Director-General,  Media and Publicity, Ahmed Maiyaki said the allegation against his boss was baseless and untrue, saying the governor remained a neutral person in the impeachment saga.