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Kogi Speaker, Deputy, Principal Officers Impeached

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The bad blood between Idris Wada, the executive governor of Kogi state, Abdullahi Bello,speaker of the state house of assembly and its principal officers reached a crescendo, Tuesday, when handful legislators loyal to the governor announced the

impeachment of all principal officers. understands that the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Abdullahi Bello, the Deputy Speaker and all the other principal officers in the House were Tuesday afternoon impeached in controversial circumstances.

The 25-member House had been adjourned till Thursday, but some of the lawmakers resumed for sitting unexpectedly, Tuesday, and barred staff and visitors from witnessing the legislative activity.

The very short sitting witnessed the removal of the Speaker, his deputy and 10 other principal officers in a situation that has called to question the number of the members who attended the sitting.

A staff of the Assembly, who confirmed the incident to, but pleaded anonymity, said: "we resumed as usual this morning with no inkling that this controversial impeachment would take place.

"Since they had adjourned the next sitting till Thursday, the Speaker and the principal officers were not around. I can tell you that the sitting did not observe the principle of two-third quorum as stipulated by the law.

"To avoid questions arising from the impeachment, they stopped us all from observing the sitting. Now, who presided over the sitting? who moved the motion? What crimes did all the principal officers commit to warrant the mass impeachment? These are some of the questions being asked currently by all the staff of the House."

He added that as he spoke, the lawmakers had not come out with replacements for the impeached officers. learnt that the Speaker and his officers have been at loggerheads with the governor of the State, Idris Wada, as the latter had refused to forgive him over the controversies that delayed his swearing-in ceremony as governor after a Supreme Court judgement nullified the tenure of some governors which also affected former Kogi State Governor Ibrahim Idris at the twilight of the election that brought in Wada.

Following the judgement, Bello was sworn-in by the state Chief Judge as acting governor while Wada was sworn in by the President of the Customary Court as the state governor, thus leading to confusion, accusations and counter-accusations by parties loyal to the two political players.

The situation was however later doused by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in favour of Wada after several efforts to resolve the issue had earlier failed. Bello was then asked to return to the House as Speaker. learnt that since then, the governor had held the grudge against Bello and had refused to co-operate with the leadership of the House.

"He also ensured that he polarised the members of the House. While he won some of them to himself, the principal office holders supported the Speaker.

"Various parties had waded into the crisis but they had continued to live a cat-and-mouse relationship till the governor's boys took the action just now," the source added stressing that the issue would further disintegrate the political class in the state as well as the development of the state because "this action is highly controversial."

It was also learnt that the Speaker had learnt of the development and is making efforts to reach out to party stakeholders in the state and Abuja before coming out with a statement