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Drama as 19 lawmakers ‘impeach’ assembly speaker

There was confusion at the Kogi State House of Assembly as 19 lawmakers are said to have allegedly impeached the Speaker, Prince Matthew Kolawole, a…

There was confusion at the Kogi State House of Assembly as 19 lawmakers are said to have allegedly impeached the Speaker, Prince Matthew Kolawole, a few hours after the House Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Muhammed, was impeached and three principal officers suspended by 17 legislators.

The Speaker was said to have been removed according to an undersigned letter released to journalists late Friday in Lokoja with the signatures of 19 lawmakers of the Assembly.

Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that in the letter, the aggrieved lawmakers stated that the Speaker was removed over alleged misconduct and money laundering running into millions of naira.

According to the lawmakers, the impeachment took effect from Monday, June 13, 2022.

The 19 lawmakers stated that Kolawole was impeached for alleged corrupt antecedents, including non-payment of members’ constitutional entitlements, gross corruption and diversion of funds meant for the Assembly since 2019.

But in a swift reaction, Kolawole described the impeachment as a figment of their imagination, saying that the so-called exercise was “baseless, not binding and has no effect. As such, it’s null and void.”

The Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Speaker, Femi Olugbemi, who spoke on behalf of his boss, said the purported impeachment was fake and lacked the constitutional ‘credentials’ to be called an impeachment.

“I saw it as a joke. They are just shouting to be noticed. There is no substance in whatever allegations or decision they have taken,” he said.

“The paraded figures whose names are on their so -called impeachment list were appointed yesterday to fill the vacant position of the four principal officers.

“Nothing has changed. The Speaker is still in charge. I only know that four principal officers of the Assembly were impeached at the plenary on Friday and three out of them were suspended from appearing in the House,” he said.

The sudden twist in the House of Assembly may not be unconnected with the confusion of “63/47” delegate votes at the just-concluded All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential party primary election where some party chieftains and political appointees were alleged to have betrayed Governor Yahaya Bello in the said election.

Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that Governor Yahaya Bello left for the APC presidential party primary election with 63 accredited delegates from Kogi, but ended up scoring 47 votes.

This result is said to have stoked up allegations of betrayal and lack of genuine commitment on the part of party chieftains and political appointees.