Monday, 28 July 2014

Nasarawa impeachment: Crisis hits probe panel •Over appointment of alleged APC, PDP members

A crisis of confidence bordering on alleged partisanship and partiality is currently rocking the seven-man probe panel set up by the Nasarawa State Chief Judge, Justice Suleiman Dikko, to investigate the alleged wrongdoings against Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura.
Those kicking against the composition of the membership of the panel, which they alleged was tilted in favour of the embattled governor, had also reportedly packaged petitions against Justice Dikko, to push for his dismissal by the National Judicial Council (NJC) if the panel is not disbanded.
The development is said to have brought uncertainty into the job of the panel, expected to begin full-blown proceedings after sallah break.
Complaints are coming from both the pro and anti-impeachment
lawmakers over members of the panel, with those pushing for the impeachment feeling more hard done by.
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The impeachment process ends constitutionally if the panel clears the governor of any wrongdoing on the 15 allegations of misconduct levelled against him.
The governor, who last week vowed to judicially stop the panel, made a U-turn at the weekend, by indicating his readiness to appear before it.
In the case of alleged partiality and partisanship being made against the members, it was alleged that the wife of the chairman of the panel, Yusuf Shehu Usman, is a known ally of wife of the state governor, as well as a female judge in the state.
It was also alleged that the older brother of the chairman, who died a few months back, was, until his death, a title holder in a particular emirate (name withheld) in the state, with loyalty to the emir (names withheld) who had allegedly been at the fore-front of the “save-Al-Makura” project.
The membership of Galadima Keffi, Alhaji Abdu Usman, was also being kicked against on the ground of alleged party membership.
It was contended that his son allegedly contested and lost the primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the chairmanship of the local government.
Usman is also alleged to be friends with the former governor of the state and APC leader, Alhaji Adamu Abdullahi.
Another member, Mohammed Sabo Keana, was alleged to be a politician whose impartiality could not be guaranteed.
He was the Secretary to the State Government in the administration of Alhaji Adamu Abdullahi.
He reportedly remains a card-carrying member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while allegedly maintaining his relations with his former boss, despite being in different political parties.
The membership of Reverend Joel Galadima is also in contention, as he is a member of the state Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board as an appointee of the governor who is also reportedly his kinsman.
The appointment of both Pastor Daniel Chaga and Samuel Chaku was also said to be in alleged contravention of fair representation, as both were said to be from the same Wanba Local Government Area of the state, while no member was allegedly picked from the majority Eggon nation.
Eggon tribe is at the fore-front of political opposition to the governor over an alleged breach of gentleman agreement between him and Senator Solomon Ewuga to rotate the governorship on single-term basis.
Chaga and Chaku are allegedly nominated by the deputy Chairman of APC in the state, popularly called Lamus, reportedly the political leader of Wanba council.
The seventh member, Alhaji Mohammed Sani Usman, is allegedly a prominent member of Nsala sect and allegedly attended a solidarity meeting recently with the governor.
Nigerian Tribune also exclusively obtained what transpired between President Goodluck Jonathan and Nasarawa lawmakers at a close-door parley last week.
A source at the meeting disclosed that the National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki; Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Pius Anyim, told the lawmakers that the president was not happy about the circumstances surrounding the impeachment process and would want an end to it.
The lawmakers were, however, said to have resisted the move to stop the impeachment process, adding that they were irrevocably committed to it.
President Jonathan, who was said to be presiding over another meeting, reportedly met immediately with them.
The meeting with the president reportedly lasted about two hours, with the lawmakers said to have restated their commitment.
Jonathan’s worry was said to be about the alleged security report that arms were being stock-piled in the state and any crisis there could spill over to Abuja.
The said report also alleged that the impeachment was being largely resisted by elite in the state, because a Christian deputy governor would take over if a Muslim governor was sacked.
Jonathan’s fears were said to have been allayed and the meeting reportedly ended without the lawmakers giving any commitment.


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