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Published On: Tue, Jul 15th, 2014

Finally, Al-makura gets impeachment notice

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Gov Al-MakuraFrom Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia

The Nasarawa state House of Assembly, yesterday served the state governor, Umaru Tanko Al-makura, with an impeachment notice, over alleged gross financial misconduct to the tune of N30 billion.

Yesterday’s action of the Nasarawa state lawmakers has confirmed over five months of speculation that the Jonathan led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government in the centre was plotting to oust Governor Al-makura, among other opposition governors in the country.

We exclusively reported in our lead story of Monday, February 24 this year, that the ruling PDP had perfected plans to use its dominance in the Nasarawa Assembly to impeach the governor.

In line with the plot, which sources said was being hatched in Abuja, Al-makura’s Deputy, Dameshi Barau Luka, defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state to PDP, preparatory to his taking over from his boss as the substantive governor of the state.

Similarly, our weekend title reported in its June 21 edition that some hatchet men working for Abuja had intensified the impeachment plots against Al-makura, and some other APC governors, preparatory to the 2015 general elections.

Those marked for impeachment, as earlier reported include Rivers state governor, Rotimi Amaechi, and Murtala Nyako of Adamawa state, who is on the verge of being sent parking.

However, following series of previous unsuccessful attempts to impeach Governor Al-makura, the Assembly yesterday took a step further to perfect the plan and formally served the embattled APC governor with an impeachment notice.

After deliberations on a motion filed by the Deputy Majority Leader in the House, Yahaya Usman (PDP, Umaisha /Ugya), the state lawmakers passed a resolution directing the Clerk of the parliament to serve Al-makura with the notice of impeachment.

Usman who presented a document containing the allegations of gross misconduct against the governor, said the documents have been signed by 20 out of the 24 members of the Assembly.

“I’m on my feet to raise a motion under the matter of public interest and I will go direct to read the document I have in my hand. This is a notice of impeachment of Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura of Nasarawa state for gross misconduct.

“And for the violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, today (yesterday) being the 14th July, 2014, 20 of the 24 members of this House unanimously endorsed to serve Governor Al-makura with the notice of impeachment”,  Usman said.

To this end, the Chief Whip of the House of Assembly, Mohammed Okpede (PDP, Doma North), thereafter seconded the motion that the governor should be served with the impeachment notice, over the alleged gross financial misconduct.

Speaker of the House, Musa Mohammed, after officially receiving the document, said the House complied with the provision of the Constitution in serving the governor with the impeachment notice, even as he directed the Clerk of the House to serve the notice immediately.

“While in the event that His Excellency, Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura could not be reached for service, the Clerk is hereby directed to serve him with the impeachment notice through the media”, the Speaker said.

However, reacting to this development, the state chairman of the APC, Philip Tatari Shekwo, told our reporter that the party was yet to be informed about the development, even as he promised that the party will react appropriately when it has been properly informed.

In our earlier reports, we hinted that the PDP will use its dominance in the Nasarawa Assembly, where it has 20 of the 24 members, to perfect the plans to impeach Al-makura.

Our earlier report had long been confirmed, with Mr. Luka defecting to the PDP, preparatory to his taking over leadership of the state, once Al-makura is impeached. Senator Solomon Ewuga, a major campaigner for Al-makura in 2011, had also decamped to the PDP in tow.

It would be recalled that Luka, who was suspended from the APC over alleged anti-party activities, maintained his stance on the statement credited to him, for which he was suspended.

He had said shortly on arrival from a two weeks sojourn in the United States of America (USA), that he stood by his statement in which he criticised the APC for its directive to its National Assembly members to block the 2014 federal budget.

Though all media aides to the deputy governor and the state PDP Chairman, Yunana Iliya, had then denied the reports that the party was planning to impeach Governor Al-makura, the event of yesterday has confirmed our previous reports.

Unconfirmed reports indicated that huge sums of money were being used to induce the Nasarawa lawmakers to remove the state governor, but they had severally denied such allegations in the past.

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