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Alamieyeseigha, Ladoja, Fayose, Obi, Dariye…Who’s next?

Posted by By Beifoh Osewele on 2006/11/14 | Views: 668 |

Alamieyeseigha, Ladoja, Fayose, Obi, Dariye…Who’s next?

Another one bites the dust! Who next? This succinctly summed up the public reaction to the dawn removal of Joshua Dariye as governor of the North Central State of Plateau Monday.

Another one bites the dust! Who next? This succinctly summed up the public reaction to the dawn removal of Joshua Dariye as governor of the North Central State of Plateau Monday.

From all intents and purposes, not a few were under any illusion that the long embattled Dariye would breast the tape on May 29, 2007 when his two-term was expected to lapse. In fact, it would have been a huge surprise if he had achieved the feat, given the arsenal that was arrayed against him. Even then, when news of his removal broke, the consensus was that of anger and disgust. Virtually every person faulted the process leading to the removal, which was effected by a mere six-member out of the 24-man strong Plateau State House of Assembly.

The nagging question as to where the impeachment train would stop next, has become more portent in the face of gross violation of constitutional processes. Dariye’s ouster brings to five cases of governors that have been impeached under curious circumstance in less than one year.

The present spate of impeachment started in Bayelsa State with Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, following his alleged involvement in money laundering and subsequent arrest in London by the Metropolitan Police. He later jumped bail in London and resurfaced in Yenagoa to the warm embrace of a mammoth crowd. He would be removed shortly after in a show believed to have been masterminded by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and directed by Aso Rock.

One month later, the ghost resurrected in Oyo State in a most bizarre and ridiculous form. The script was allegedly written and directed by Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu, “Garrison Commander” of Ibadan, who was not happy with his ‘boy-governor’ Ladoja’s audacity. The court recently pronounced the process leading to the impeachment as flawed, though the Attorney-General and IGP have said the court order cannot be enforced for now.

Even while controversy was still raging on Ladoja’s case, the impeachment merchant took their wares to Ekiti and Anambra terminating the administrations of Ayo Fayose and Peter Obi in quick succession.
A common strand runs through all five cases; the entire processes are signposted by gross violation of constitution and illegality. For instance, while Bayelsa lawmakers were said to have effected the impeachment of Alamieyeseigha under military jackboot, and with rifle literally pointed to their heads, that of Ladoja was effected by 18 out of 32 members of the house in a hotel room rather than at the house of assembly.

Even the case of Ekiti was not any different as the impeachment notice was said to have been compiled by the lawmakers while in the custody of the Ribadu-led EFCC in Lagos. In the case of Anambra, the PDP populated House of Assembly had to relocate to nearby Asaba, capital of Delta State to oust Obi, the APGA candidate who took over from Chris Ngige following the nullification of PDP victory in the state.
The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides, in its section 143, for the impeachment of the President and the Vice-President. Section 188 provides for the impeachment of State Governors and Deputy Governors.

Under the constitution, at least, one third of the whole members of the House is required to begin the process of impeachment while at least, two third is required to conclude it. However, in many of the cases, this condition was not fulfilled. Particularly, in the case of Dariye, just six members did the job.
This anomaly has no doubt raised the political blood pressure in the land.
Only recently, Kano State governor, Ibrahim Shekarau warned that the impeachment clause should not be applied carelessly.

Shekarau who spoke to journalists shortly after visiting Governor Virginia Etiaba of Anambra State, said the use of impeachment clause when it ought not to be used would not augur well for Nigerian democracy.
"It is most unfortunate, you see there is nothing wrong in the provision in the constitution where there is room for impeachment to give room for checks and balances. But when process of impeachment is abused, then it is most unfortunate.

"Most people dismiss it as part of the learning process, but learning process also needs to be in accordance with the law, in compliance with the rules. I am solidly behind a situation whereby people in government are checked, people in government are given the opportunity to explain the responsibility given to them. But when this is not done in accordance with the law, it is sad and most unfortunate.”

With the unceremonious removal of five governors in quick succession and under dubious circumstances, the governors, may yet have come to term with truth in the words of John Donne, the foremost metaphysical poet, who said: “Ask not for whom the bell tolls. For it tolls for thee.” As it is obvious now that no governor is safe, the likely question begging for answer now is: Who is next?
Only time can tell.

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Comments (2)

Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown