Nasarawa State Assembly In Fresh Push To Oust Governor Al-Makura
The Nasarawa State House of Assembly is planning fresh impeachment proceedings against Governor Umaru Al-Makura over allegations of misuse of funds, it was learnt from sources in the legislature and the executive.
Al-Makura survived a previous impeachment bid when a probe panel set up by the Chief Judge cleared him of accusations labeled by the House because lawmakers failed to provide proof. The lawmakers objected to the composition of the panel, and petitioned against the CJ when he declined to disband it.
Information pieced together over the past week showed that 20 of the 24 members of the assembly who signed the botched July 14 impeachment notice are part of the fresh plot.
They are all members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), while those other 4 lawmakers not part of the plot are in the All Progressives Congress (APC), just like Al-Makura.
Under the new impeachment bid, the governor will be accused of misappropriating a total of about N20 billion,.
The fresh charges are likely to be unveiled in the next week, following a meeting on Saturday between the lawmakers and some PDP top shots in Akwanga to perfect a new plan to oust the governor.
Assembly sources said the legislators’ lawyers have studied the report of the Auditor General of the state, Mr. Rayyanu Lamus, which was presented to the House during the June/July probe of the revenues and expenditure of the state. The new impeachment charges will be drawn from this audit report. Part of the charges in the botched impeachment move was also drawn from this report.
Assembly sources say that the audit report was not exhaustively used in July, hence the decision to look at it again for the renewed impeachment bid.
“The House has taken a critical look at this report to draft these charges. It was discovered that over N20 billion have been expended without accounts to the funds,” a lawmaker said.
The amount represents part of the expenditure from the time Al-Makura assumed office in 2011 to part of the second quarter of 2014.
The legislators are also planning take advantage of a petition by a defendant in a case, to the National Judicial Commission (NJC), against the Nasarawa Chief Judge Suleiman Dikko, who the lawmakers consider a stumbling block to the previous attempt at impeaching Al-Makura.
The CJ had set up a panel to investigate the July 14 allegations, with a membership that the House of Assembly rejected.
The lawmakers now hope that the CJ will be removed based on this petition to the NJC over alleged delay in entering judgment in a case he concluded hearing for over three years.
“In the event the CJ is fired, an acting CJ will be appointed. That is all we are looking for,” one lawmaker said.
“We are not looking for a CJ to do our bidding. We are looking for a CJ who will be impartial, and look at the impeachment allegations, and apply the laws as they are.”