by Segun Odeleye
Today in Nasarawa, the state house of assembly rejected the composition of the seven-man panel set up by the state chief judge, Suleiman Dikko, to investigate the 16-count impeachment charge leveled against Gov. Tanko Al-makura by the lawmakers.
The interesting thing about Wednesday’s sitting was that the house members failed to sit at the assembly complex, citing insecurity. They didn’t even sit in the state capital of Lafia but went all the way to Karu local government area, where they say for hours at a building behind the local government secretariat. All 19 members of the assembly who attended the sitting belong to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while the four lawmakers who belong to the All Progressives Congress (APC) stayed away. The governor belongs to the APC.
The assembly members led by the speaker, Musa Mohammed accused the chief judge of disobeying the constitution in the way he set up the panel headed by Yusuf Usman. Mohammed said that the composition of the panel negates the provision of Section 188 of the Constitution. Besides, he said that the panel did not have a right to sit until the assembly forwards a guideline to them, which it has not done.
According to the assembly, it had to take its stand because of a petition written by a group, Nasarawa Concerned Citizens, alleging irregularities in the composition of the panel. The petition, which was read on the floor of the Assembly, alleged that two of the seven members of the panel are card carrying members of PDP while others are in the pay roll of the state government.
House members who spoke took turns to ask the chief judge to “do the right thing to redeem his image.” They urged him to dissolve the panel.
Meanwhile the state government has reacted to the assembly’s order. The Nasarawa State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Innocent Lagi, said that the action of the Assembly is the highest level of insanity. He urged residents of the state to disregard the resolution.