Impeachment: You Can't Try Me, Embattled Taraba Deputy Governor Tells Panel

Listen to article can disclose that embattled Deputy Governor of Taraba State, Sani Abubakar Danladi, has dared the judicial panel set up by the acting Chief Judge of the state, Justice Josephine Tuktur, following his impeachment plot initiated by members of

the state House of Assembly.
Alhaji Danladi, while challenging the competence of the panel, boasted that it lacks the credibility to try him hence the panel was not properly constituted.

Checks however revealed that the tormented Deputy Governor had filed a case against his impeachment at the Taraba State High Court in Jalingo, where he is challenging the legality of the entire impeachment process.

  Deputy Governor Danladi, through his counsel, Yunusa Usman, who was at the panel seating on Saturday, told the panellists they were not constituted in line with laid down procedure and could not therefore try him or investigate the allegations brought against him by the House members.

The technicality which the Deputy Governor hinged his argument on, according to analysts, was that the acting Chief Judge had overstayed the mandatory three months given to an individual to handle the position of acting Chief Judge in accordance with the law.

Danladi's counsel, Mr. Usman had also questioned the integrity of one of the panellists, Aisha Mohammed, who he said had earlier been indicted by another judicial commission which was set up by the present administration, adding that the panellists were therefore not capable to investigate the Deputy Governor.

He told the panel that his client has "filed another originating summons with number TRSG/82/2012 of 25/09/2012 challenging the competence and jurisdiction of the panel itself where the chairman and all the members are made parties and defendants. I want to bring to the attention of this tribunal that we also have filed motion on notice and injunctions restraining all defendants including your honourable selves from proceeding with this inquiry."

However, while the prosecution counsel, Elijah Nyaro, urged the panel not to entertain the Deputy Governor's arguments or even admit the documents his client had presented since they did not follow the proper procedure, the panel's Chairman, Nasiru Dangeri, informed the defence counsel that the panel cannot stand against itself on the question of integrity since it did not constitute itself.

Before adjourning the sitting to October 3, 2012, the panel admitted five witnesses against the Deputy Governor and told the defence counsel that the case filed in court by his client was not binding on the panel until the panel is properly served.

Recall that the Taraba state Deputy Governor, Sani Abubakar Danladi, who was accused by the House of gross misconduct and abuse of office, was served an impeachment notice by the state House of Assembly on September 4, 2012, alleging that he engaged in illegal acquisition of landed property above his official entitlement and that he deceived the state by transferring public projects to his private business premises.