A fresh impeachment proceedings against Governor Umaru Al-Makura over allegations of misuse of funds has begun.
Al-Makura had survived an impeachment plot against him when the panel set up by the Chief Judge of the state cleared of all allegations. In fact, he said in August that he has put the impeachment saga behind him but recent information gathered by Daily Trust shows that he has another battle to fight.
Daily Trust reports 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.
The plan may likely take off next week with the lawmakers planning to accuse Al-Makura of misappropriating a sum of N2ob, the group having located a loophole in the Audit report submitted by the Auditor General
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 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.”
Iordekaren Alye of Kardarko in Nasarawa state had written a petition against the CJ and the NJC received it on August 28.
It pertains to a suit between Zegejir Wa’apera v. Irodekera Alye. The petition complains that three years after the parties in the case filed their written addresses, which were adopted, the CJ has not delivered judgment.
However, when contacted on the fresh plot, the House Information Committee Chairman, Mohammed Baba Ibaku, denied that the assembly was pursuing a fresh plot to impeach the governor.
“I don’t know; there are no fresh allegations against the governor, not to my knowledge,”
House Minority Leader Tanko Maikatako said: “The law presumes everyone innocent until the contrary is proven. If my colleagues have evidence against the governor, it is up for them to bring them up.”
Government sources said they are aware of the fresh plot, but declined to speak officially.
Information Commissioner, Hamza Elayo, told Daily Trust the state government is not aware of any such moves, but added that the government will not be surprised if a fresh impeachment plot is coming because of the constant “bullying” the governor has faced from the assembly for over years.
State PDP spokesman, Yohanna Mark Neto, declined to confirm any fresh plot to impeach the governor, but added that “as far as I am concerned, we are still waiting for the outcome of the House petition to the NJC.”
Meanwhile, Governor Al-Makura has asked the State High Court sitting in Keffi to stop the House of Assembly from commencing fresh impeachment proceedings against him.
As part of the plan to protect himself, Al-Makura sacked 8 commissioners and 5 aides from his cabinent replacing them with those he could trust. His major problem however, is his lack of control over the House of Assembly populated by the opposition PDP.