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Impeachment hangs on Obasanjo, Atiku - Lawmakers collect signatures

Posted by By Olawale Rasheed and Jacob Segun Olatunji on 2007/01/22 | Views: 678 |

Impeachment hangs on Obasanjo, Atiku - Lawmakers collect signatures


AS the Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, returned to the country yesterday, loyalists of both the president and the vice president are now launching separate impeachment bids in both chambers of the National Assembly.

AS the Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, returned to the country yesterday, loyalists of both the president and the vice president are now launching separate impeachment bids in both chambers of the National Assembly.

Nigerian Tribune findings showed that the two groups were secretly collecting signatures of lawmakers with a view to securing the required one third necessary to raise an impeachment motion.

While reports showed that Obasanjo loyalists already have a steering committee for that purpose, the 2007 Movement and Pro-Atiku camps in both chambers were also secretly meeting with multiple lists said to have been complied.

A top presidency loyalist, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, told the Nigerian Tribune that he and his colleagues would do anything to protect the integrity and sanctity of the presidency, adding, “the President is a symbol of our nationhood.”

Araraume, however, refused to confirm or deny that loyalists of the President in the Senate were collecting signatures for the impeachment of the vice president.

Findings showed that the expectation of the president’s men in the Senate was to use the report of the Senate Committee probing the PTDF scandal to nail the vice president.

Once the report confirmed the indictment of the vice president, Nigerian Tribune was told that the removal bid would be launched on the floor of the Senate with the signatures already collected.

For the vice president’s group, the House of Representatives is reportedly the launching pad with the report on impeachable offences already committed by the President as the basis for the removal bid.

Findings showed that despite the refusal of the House Speaker, Bello Masari, to allow the tabling of the issue, the anti-Obasanjo forces in the Lower House were forging ahead with the collection of signatures.

As at the time of filing this report, the anti-presidency caucus, led by Hon. Mohammed Nadabo, was reported to have secured more than the one third necessary to launch the impeachment motion.

It was learnt that the camp of Nadabo was swelled by lawmakers loyal to General Ibrahim Babangida who felt betrayed by their failure to secure the nomination of the ruling party.

Hon. Usman Bugaje, a key member of the 2007 Movement, told the Nigerian Tribune that his group was ready for any eventuality, adding that “we will defend the vice president within and outside these chambers.

“Our position is clear. The vice president has not committed any impeachable offences. It is the president that has many documented impeachable offences against him,” Bugaje said.

Further investigations revealed that while both camps were planning to launch the offensive, they were being restrained by the two presiding officers of the National Assembly.

Both Senate President, Ken Nnamani, and Speaker, Aminu Bello Masari, are reportedly opposed to the impeachment of the either the president or the vice president.

But an official of the National Assembly has foreclosed any plan to impeach Vice President Abubakar for now.

Speaking shortly after he participated in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) verification exercise for candidates in the April polls in Abuja, Senator Lawali Shuaib declared that for now, the National Assembly would not entertain any matter about the impeachment of the vice president since his case was already before the court.

Senator Uche Chukwumerije, chairman, Senate Committee on Inter-parliamentary Affairs, had last week raised the alarm that the presidency had concluded plans to impeach Vice President Abubakar and had been inducing legislators with huge sums of money to facilitate the impeachment process.

Senator Shuaib, who is the Minority Leader in the Senate, dismissed the claim, saying nobody had given any legislator money to impeach the vice president.

“I don’t think it is true. Giving money to impeach the vice president? It can not be true. How can we impeach the vice president when the court is yet to decide his case?”

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Comments (3)

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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

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

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

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