Impeachments: Plots, counter plots in Nasarawa, Enugu

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By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor

The impeachment bug that lately caught the polity is having to contend with conspiracies in Nasarawa and a moral dilemma in Enugu.

The plot to remove Governor Tank Al-Makura
was from the onset laced in conspiracy. That scheme fanned by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP dominated House of Assembly to sack the embattled governor elected on the platform of the All progressives, APC has, now  been entrapped in a seemingly larger conspiracy.

The impeachment process against the governor had in the past two weeks paralysed activities in the state following the abandonment of governance by the governor and his antagonists in the House of Assembly. Most of them it was learnt, had relocated to Abuja, from where many assumed the plot was being teleguided from.

After some lull, the process was enlivened last Friday when the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Suleiman Dikko inaugurated a seven man panel to investigate the allegations leveled against Governor Almakura.

The seven man panel comprises of Yusuf Usman as chairman with Mohammed Keana, Joel Galadima, Abdul Usman, Samuel Chaku, Mohammed Usman, and Daniel Chaga as members.

Given the complex ethno-religious tension in the state it was not long before different interest groups found reasons to doubt the suitability of the panelists.

Indeed by last Wednesday the lawmakers at the forefront for the removal of the governor raised their objection to the panel.

The members of the House of Assembly who had fled the state capital on account of antagonism from some members of the public they claimed to be hired, at a sitting in Karu, about 150 kilometers from Lafia, the state capital, rejected the panel saying that the members were biased towards the governor.

The 19 House members who sat at the session and all of who belong to the PDP, claimed to have acted on the basis of a petition from a group, Nasarawa Concerned Citizens which accused Justice Dikko of bias in the constitution of the panel.

In the view of the group, Justice Dikko had constituted a panel that was bound to acquit the governor and which would constitutionally bring all attempts to remove the governor to an end.

Vexed by the claims of the group, the House after its deliberation urged the chief justice to reconstitute the panel, bringing to an issue the capacity of the House to question the chief judge the way and manner he should do his job.

The issue was outstanding as at press time. Meanwhile, there are allegations that impeachment process was also being threatened by the competing interests of the members of the PDP in the post Almakura years, especially as it pertains to the 2015 election.

Two of the formidable politicians from the state in the PDP, Senator Solomon Ewuga and information minister, Labaran Maku are believed to be eyeing the 2015 gubernatorial contest. It was alleged that some associates of the two men are afraid that the impeachment of the governor would bring the deputy governor, Dameshi Luka who defected from the APC to the PDP as a major force to reckon with in the 2015 election.

Meanwhile, in Enugu State, the  impeachment plot against the deputy governor of the state, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi dogged the kitchen impeachment was also on Wednesday stirred up after Mr. Onyebuchi responded to the issues raised against him.

The Enugu State House of Assembly which had accused the deputy governor of disobeying Governor Sullivan Chime in refusing to represent him at the ground breaking ceremony for the Second Niger Bridge and of keeping a poultry in his official residence.

On the issue of failing to represent the governor at the Second Niger Bridge groundbreaking, Mr. Onyebuchi in his response submitted that he was there as he supplied video evidence of his presence.

On the issue of keeping a poultry, the deputy governor replied that the poultry was part of the things he met in his official residence as he submitted that all deputy governors before him had maintained the poultry whose equipment were installed by the first premier of Eastern Nigeria.

“On assumption of office in May 2007, there was an existing official residence for the Deputy Governor of Enugu State.  On inspection of the premises I observed that it had on its grounds an area designated and fenced as an Agricultural Unit, with facilities for amongst other things, a poultry farm.   I commenced operation of a poultry on the premises in  2008 with technical support from ENADEP  and the Commercial Agricultural Programme of the State Ministry of Agriculture.  The said poultry farm was declared in my Asset Declaration and inspected by the Code of Conduct Bureau.”

To butt, he said Governor Chime also had even a bigger poultry within the Government House.

Given the general impression that the issues against the deputy governor were essentially political and against the background of insinuations that the forces against the deputy governor were determined to remove him before this weekend, eyes are on the Enugu House of Assembly to see to what extent it would go.

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