The seven-member panel investigating allegations of gross misconduct against Nasarawa Governor Umaru Al-Makura has dismissed all the charges.
The panel, which had listened to Mr. Al-Makura on Monday and the legal representation of the House of Assembly on Tuesday dismissed the 16 charges against the governor.
The panel dismissed the notice of impeachment signed by 20 of the 24 lawmakers on grounds that the assembly, although made appearance through their legal representatives, failed lead evidence in proof of the allegations against the governor.
DailyTrust reports that the Seven-man panel reconvened from a long break it took to consider the submissions before it by both parties: the 20 members of the House, who were represented by a legal team; and Governor Al-Makura, who is represented by a team of nine counsels.
Counsels to the House announced appearance, but insisted that they did so in protest, asking the panel to disqualify itself from sitting because members on it are not suitable to sit over the case. Ocha Ulegede had said members’ boycott was not because the House did not want to violate the provisions of the constitution, but because as lawmakers, they will not participate in the breach of the constitution.
But the governor’s lead counsel, Chief Udechukwu Nnoruka Udechukwu had asked the panel to dismiss the case. He cited Section 280 of the Criminal Procedures Act which states that when a case is called for hearing and the prosecution fails to make appearance, the court is at liberty to dismiss it. He said Paragraph Seven (c) of the panel’s guidelines was clear on the matter.
Paragraph 7 (c) of the panel’s guidelines states that: “Where the House of Assembly fails or neglects to appear and lead evidence in proof of the allegations, the panel, upon proof of service may dismiss the allegations.”
When the panel reconvened, its chairman, Yusuf Shehu Usman read its decision, saying it was made after consideration of submissions made by both parties through their legal representatives.
He said the panel, however dismissed the case because the House failed to prove all the 16 allegations against the governor, with evidence.