Saraki, Dogara Break Silence On Impeachment Notice Against Benue’s Gov. Ortom

Media House Covering NASS Draconian

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, have condemned the plot to impeach the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom.

The lawmakers, not more than 10 of the 30-member Assembly, were provided cover by the police to meet at the state’s parliament building on Monday morning. The majority lawmakers, who are of the People’s Democratic Party, were blocked from accessing the complex.

The APC lawmakers later served impeachment notice on Governor Ortom after accusing him of corruption.

The duo in a joint statement, signed by their aides in charge of media, Yusuph Olaniyonu and Turaki Hassan respectively, described the current situation in Benue as a desecration of legislative sanctity. They urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call the police to order and stop them from being used to achieve political purposes.

They said the situation is an act of illegality and does not conform to parliamentary procedure on impeachment.

They also expressed surprise at the role of the police in the “undemocratic event in which the minority is seeking to impeach a Governor against the position of the majority”.

“We believe it is the sacred institution of the legislature that is being desecrated and rubbished in all these negative developments. The situation in Benue State House of Assembly has grave implication for the nation’s democracy and it represents a throw-back to the period of dictatorship in our country.

“It also represents how the Nigeria Police are being misused to achieve political end. In a statement recently, the Presidency derisively referred to an era in the past where a minority number of legislators was used to impeach Governors who were unfriendly with the Federal Government. What we are seeing in Benue now is a return to that inglorious era,” part of the statement read.

The lawmakers said the unlawful and unconstitutional move to impeach Mr Ortom by a minority should be condemned by all lovers of democracy, at home and abroad.

They also called on friends of Nigeria in the international community to lend their voice in condemning “the perpetration of illegalities and actions that can subvert our democracy”.

“There is already a tense atmosphere in Benue State following the recent killings. Nobody should encourage any action or move which may exacerbate the security situation in the North-central State. As leaders of the Federal legislature, we are ready to work with our colleagues in both chambers of the National Assembly to prevent any attempt to destroy any state legislature or use it to derail democracy,” they said.

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