Simon Achuba's Impeachment and the Swearing in of Another Deputy Governor in Kogi State: The Stand of NBA, Idah Branch.
Idah Branch is one of the Branches of NBA in Kogi State, and it covers the entire Kogi East. It is our information that the Deputy Governor of Kogi State in the person of Elder Simon Achuba was impeached by the Kogi State House of Assembly on the 18th day of October 2019, just within few minutes after the 7-Man Panel headed by Mr John Baiyeshea, SAN submitted the report of their investigation on the matter which report exonerated the said Elder Simon Achuba of all the allegations against him, thereby earning him a verdict of not guilty by the Panel.
We wish to state categorically that, Section 188 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), made elaborate provisions on the procedure for the removal or impeachment of the Deputy Governor of a State. Section 188 (8), states as follows:
"Where the Panel reporty to the House of Assembly that the allegation has not been proved, no further proceedings shall be taken in respect of the matter".
By the above constitutional provision, the Kogi State House of Assembly (KSHA) after receiving the said Panel's report is expected to have restrained itself from further action on the matter and this would have earned the members of the House the highest respect as true and unbiased democrats. Unfortunately, the KSHA chose to do otherwise by going ahead to purportedly impeach Elder Simon Achuba in a very bizarre manner that runs contrary to the spirit and letters of our Constitution. This singular act is a serious infraction of our Constitution and a rape on our democracy.
Worst still, is the fact that the KSHA continued to swim in this illegality to screen and clear Hon. Chief Edward Onoja, for the position of Deputy Governor of Kogi State, thereby creating room for the Kogi State Chief Judge to swear him in today the 21st day of October, 2019, as te the Deputy Governor of Kogi State. Having regard to the manner in which the purported impeao was done, We expected the Hon. Chief Judge of Kogi State to conduct an investigation into the whole matter and as well, decline the call for the swearing in of Edward Onoja as the new Deputy Governor, irrespective of any influence or threat from any quarter (if any) or sentiments, because you can't put something on nothing and expect same to stand.
The Nigerian Constitution is supreme and its provisions must be respected by all persons and authorities. Our NBA motto is "Promoting the Rule of Law", and to this end we as a Branch cannot stay aloof when we see the principle and philosophy of the Rule of Law been desecrated or abused. It is on this note that we strongly condemn in totality the steps taken in the impeachment of elder Simon Achuba and the swearing in of a new Deputy Governor as same constitute an affront on our most respected Constitution.
We therefore, call on the KSHA, the Kogi State Government, and the Kogi State Judiciary to respect the Constitution and revert to Status Quo anti bellum.
- J.U. Okpanachi Esq. (Chairman)