By Eric Teniola

Continuing from last week, the piece, today, cites more sub-sections of  Section  143 of the 1999 Constitution dealing with the removal of the president and the vice president from office

(3) Within 14 days of the presentation of the notice to the President of the Senate (whether or not any statement was made by the holder of the office in reply to the allegation contained in the notice) each House of the National Assembly shall resolve by motion without any debate whether or not the allegation shall be investigated. 

(4) A motion of the National Assembly that the allegation be investigated shall not be declared as having been passed, unless it is supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds majority of all the members of each House of the National Assembly. 

(5) Within seven days of the passing of a motion under the foregoing provisions, the Chief Justice of Nigeria shall at the request of the President of the Senate appoint a Panel of seven persons who in his opinion are of unquestionable integrity, not being members of any public service, legislative house or political party, to investigate the allegation as provide in this section. 

(6) The holder of an office whose conduct is being investigated under this section shall have the right to defend himself in person and be represented before the Panel by legal practitioners of his own choice. 

(7) A Panel appointed under this section shall –(a) have such powers and exercise its functions in accordance with such procedure as may be prescribed by the National Assembly; and (b) within three months of its appointment report its findings to each House of the National Assembly. 

(8) Where the Panel reports to each House of the National Assembly that the allegation has not been proved, no further proceedings shall be taken in respect of the matter. 

(9) Where the report of the Panel is that the allegation against the holder of the office has been proved, then within fourteen days of the receipt of the report at the House the National Assembly shall consider the report, and if by a resolution of each House of the National Assembly supported by not less than two-thirds majority of all its members, the report of the Panel is adopted, then the holder of the office shall stand removed from office as from the date of the adoption of the report.

(10) No proceedings or determination of the Panel or of the National Assembly or any matter relating thereto shall be entertained or questioned in any court. 

(11) In this section –“gross misconduct” means a grave violation or breach of the provisions of this Constitution or a misconduct of such nature as amounts in the opinion of the National Assembly to gross misconduct”.

All those involved, in the impeachment saga of President Obasanjo then, paid dearly for it. Alhaji Ghali Umar Na’Abba did not come back to the house in 2003. He lost his election bid to an ANPP member in the Tundun Wada Constituency of Kano state. Alhaji Bello Masari (72) eventually became Speaker of the House of Representatives. Alhaji Ghali Na’Abba’s deputy then, Prince Chibudom Nwuche (61) fom Ochigba town in Ahoada East Constitutuency of Rivers state did not come back too in 2003. Prince Nwuche was defeated by Osinakuchukwu Ideazu for the Abua Odua/Ahoada Constituency.

Apart from Chief Oyewole Fasawe, the Asiwaju of Owo, the late Deji of Akure, Oba Adebiyi Adegboye Adesida, Afunbiowo II(1950-2013), my good friend whom I remember always, the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona (88), Professor Akinlawon Ladipo Mabogunje (1931-2022) the other known friends of President Obasanjo include Chief Obafemi Jonathan Adio Olopade(July 31 1926-2012), Professor Oladipo Olujimi Akinkugbe(1933-2020), Professor Emmanuel Chukwuma Edozien (November 15, 1937-October 5, 2019), Chief Abiodun Kola Daisi (90), Dr Christopher Olusola Kolade(89), Ambassador Pius Omotayo(78) from Igbara Odo in Ekiti state, Dr Onaolapo Soleye (86) and others. 

The role played by Dr Kolade during the impeachment saga of his friend, President Obasanjo was highly complimented. Dr. Kolade flew from London to Abuja immediately and he wrote part of the President Obasanjo’s defense, even though we all know that President Obasanjo is a man of letters himself.

Let me say a word about Dr Christopher Kolade. He was born on December 28, 1932 in Iddo-Faboro, Ekiti State. He attended Emmanuel School, Ado-Ekiti, 1939-1943; Christ School, Ado- Ekiti, 1944-1945; Government College Ibadan, 1946-1951 and Fouray Bay College, Freetown, 1951-1955. He was Education Officer, Western Nigeria, 1955-1960; West Regional Controller, Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation, NBC, Lagos, 1960-1963; Director of Television, NBC, 1963-1968; Director of Programmes, NBC, 1968-1972; Director General, NBC, 1972-1978; Administration Director, Cadbury Nigeria Limited, 1978; and Managing Director, 1989. 

Now we are told that the PDP Senators are threatening to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari. The question is, can they? The provision of the 1999 Constitution gives the National Assembly the power to impeach the President. No doubt they can impeach the President. That is the complexity of the presidential system of government we are operating. Let’s see how far they can go. 

Were we to be operating a parliamentary system of government, a simple motion of no confidence will be all that is required to remove any government. A parliamentary system of government promotes good governance, it requires fewer personnel and less cost, faster and quicker decisions are easily made. The parliamentary system of government reduces friction and creates friendship and cooperation. 

On the other hand, the presidential system of government protects and hides the President no matter his incompetence and acts of divisiveness. 

The impeachment threat by some of the senators should have been made earlier than now. Maybe the situation could have been better. Anyway it is better late than never. There should be penalty for failure, misconduct and inefficiency.

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