Senate President Ahmed Lawan
Senate condemns Plateau Assembly Speaker’s purported impeachment, says Rule of Law sacrosanct
The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday passed a resolution condemning the purported impeachment of the Plateau House of Assembly Speaker Ayuba Abok and urged the state’s lawmakers to be guided by the Rule of Law and the Constitution in all legislative business.
According to the Senate, this is necessary to deepen democracy and uphold the independence of the legislature as an arm of government.
The Senate said it was necessary to set aside the purported impeachment, particularly as it breached the Rules of the legislature regarding the appointment and impeachment of a Presiding officer.
The resolution was sequel to a motion sponsored by Sen. Istifanus Gyang (PDP-Plateau North) during Tuesday’s plenary.
The motion is entitled “Disruption of Legislative Business in Plateau State House of Assembly: Need for early intervention by the Senate to avoid deterioration.”
It would be recalled that the Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Abok Ayuba, was on Oct. 27, impeached by eight of the 24 members of the legislature.
The sinister sitting which had only eight of the 24 members in attendance took place before the stipulated time for legislative business and was presided by Deputy Speaker, Saleh Yipmong, during which they purportedly elected Yakubu Sanda (APC-Pengana) as the new Speaker.
Moving the motion, Gyang said that the alleged impeachment of the speaker by eight members of the House fell short of the two-third constitutionally required number as provided for in Section 92(c) of the Constitution.
“Majority of the members are opposed to the alleged impeachment and have pledged loyalty and solidarity with the speaker against those loyal to Sanda.
“The Conference of Speakers of the 36 States have denounced the alleged impeachment and withheld recognition for Sanda.”
The lawmaker said that an impasse and stalemate had arisen which if left unattended to, may degenerate.
Contributing, Sen. Gabriel Suswam, said: “The behaviour of members has the capacity to negatively affect the perception of the international community as the way we are running our democracy.
“If we do not react swiftly, we will be seen to be abdicating our own responsibility as enshrined in the Constitution as amended 1999.”
In his remarks, the Senate President Ahmad Lawan said, “What is wrong after investigation will be whether appropriate steps were taken. If they were not, certainly that is something that the Senate, particularly, and the national assembly in general, will not tolerate.”