IMPEACHMENT BEYOND COURTS â€“ BAYELSA LAWMAKERS
The Bayelsa state government has declared that the impeachment process against the Deputy- Governor, Mr. Peremobowei Ebebi is purely a legislative matter.
The government reacting to a suit filed by Ebebi's counsel which joined the Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice said the process of impeachment is clearly spelt out in the 1999 constitution.
The Overseer Ministry of Information and Orientation, Mr. Nathan Egba who made the clarification in a statement issued on behalf of the state government in Yenagoa explained that the suit filed by Ebebi's counsel seeks to restrain the House of Assembly and the Chief Judge from performing their duties.
While noting that the Attorney-General is still studying the particulars of the suit to know how it concerns the government, he added that as clearly stated in the constitution, the court cannot interfere in an impeachment process until it is completed.
Egba maintained that the impeachment process being a constitutional process, the Chief Judge has no choice but to set up the panel, adding that the constitution has made provision for the deputy-governor to defend himself.
The statement reads in part: 'However, while the Government through the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice is studying the particulars of the suit to know how it concerns them, there is need to state as follows;
'That the impeachment process is clearly spelt out in section 188 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
' However under section 188, Sub- section 10, it is clearly stated that even the courts cannot interfere in the work of either the House of Assembly or the panel until it is completed.
'While the State Government has continued to maintain that the impeachment process against the Deputy Governor is purely a legislative matter, we believe that he has the chance to defend himself before the panel. 'However, because the matter is constitutional, even the Chief Judge does not have a choice but to carry out the resolution of the State House of Assembly, which is simply to set up a seven- member panel to look into the allegations in the impeachment notice against the Deputy Governor'.